YEREVAN — Three Armenian soldiers were reportedly killed late on Wednesday in renewed border skirmishes with Azerbaijani forces.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said its troops deployed along “eastern sections” of Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan came under Azerbaijani mortar and small arms fire from 6 p.m. local time. It said they returned fire.

The ministry spokesman, Aram Torosyan, reported later in the evening that three Armenian soldiers died in the fighting. The exchange of gunfire largely stopped by 10 p.m., said Torosian.

“This is an attack against Armenian independence, sovereignty and democracy,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweeted at around midnight. “The Azerbaijani invasion must be condemned and stopped.”

Pashinyan again called for the deployment of an international observer mission in Armenian border areas “affected by Azerbaijani occupation.”

For its part, the Armenian Foreign Ministry accused Azerbaijan of continuing military aggression against Armenia and defying the international community’s persistent calls to adhere to the ceasefire. It also charged that Baku is trying to torpedo a fresh meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers planned by them.

“This proves the Armenian side’s warnings that Azerbaijan is planning to continue the use of force and its maximalist policy,” added the statement.

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