YEREVAN — One Azerbaijani soldier was reportedly killed and three Armenian servicemen wounded on Friday in fresh skirmishes that broke out along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.

The fighting took place near two villages in Armenia’s Gegharkunik province bordering the Kelbajar district west of Nagorno-Karabakh handed back to Azerbaijan after last year’s Armenian-Azerbaijani war.

One of those villages is part of Gegharkunik’s Geghamasar community. Its mayor, Hakob Avetian, said he heard intense gunfire that lasted for hours and stopped in the evening.

“There was also intense gunfire a few days ago,” Avetian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said one of its soldiers deployed in the border area was shot and killed by Armenian sniper fire late in the afternoon.

The Armenian military denied provoking the “intensive shootout.” It said its border troops opened fire only after three Armenian soldiers were wounded by the Azerbaijani side.

“The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia strongly condemns this new violetyon by the armed forces of Azerbaijan. All responsibility for the aggravation of the tension lies with the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan,” the Armenian ministry said

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