*

upload_article_image

Armenia, Azerbaijan keep up deadly fight for disputed region

Armenia and Azerbaijani forces kept fighting Monday over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh after hostilities broke out the day before, with both sides blaming each other for resuming the deadly attacks.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed that Armenian forces started shelling the town of Tartar on Monday morning, while Armenian officials said the fighting continued throughout the night and Baku resumed “offensive actions" in the morning.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry told the Interfax news agency Monday that over 550 Armenian troops have been killed, a claim that Armenian officials denied.

This handout photo released by Armenian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, shows a damaged after shelling flat in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting has erupted anew between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia said a woman and a child were killed in the area Sunday by shelling from Azerbaijani forces and Azerbaijan's president said his military has suffered losses. (Edgar KamalyanArmenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, 31 servicemen have been killed so far. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said Monday over 200 people have been wounded.

The heavy fighting broke out on Sunday morning in the region that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since 1994 at the end of a separatist war.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting, the heaviest since clashes in July killed 16 people from both sides.

In this photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, people gather in a bombshelter to protect against shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting has erupted anew between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia said a woman and a child were killed in the area Sunday by shelling from Azerbaijani forces and Azerbaijan's president said his military has suffered losses. (Edgar KamalyanArmenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

Mostly mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh — a region around 4,400 square kilometers (1,700 square miles) or about the size of the U.S. state of Delaware — lies 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Armenian border. Local soldiers backed by Armenia also occupy some Azerbaijani territory outside the region.

In this handout photo released by Armenian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, an Armenian church priest looks a a baby in a bombshelter to protect against shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting has erupted anew between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia said a woman and a child were killed in the area Sunday by shelling from Azerbaijani forces and Azerbaijan's president said his military has suffered losses. (Edgar KamalyanArmenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

In this photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, a woman with her child sit in a bombshelter to protect against shelling, in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting has erupted anew between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia said a woman and a child were killed in the area Sunday by shelling from Azerbaijani forces and Azerbaijan's president said his military has suffered losses. (Edgar KamalyanArmenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

In this handout photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, people watch the State TV as they gather in a bomb shelter to protect against the shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that shelling hit the region's capital of Stepanakert and the towns of Martakert and Martuni. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan also said Azerbaijani shelling hit within Armenian territory near the town of Vardenis. (Armenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

In this handout photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, people watch the State TV as they gather in a bomb shelter to protect against the shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that shelling hit the region's capital of Stepanakert and the towns of Martakert and Martuni. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan also said Azerbaijani shelling hit within Armenian territory near the town of Vardenis. (Armenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

In this handout photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, people watch the State TV as they gather in a bomb shelter for protection against the shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that shelling hit the region's capital of Stepanakert and the towns of Martakert and Martuni. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan also said Azerbaijani shelling hit within Armenian territory near the town of Vardenis. (Armenian Foreign Ministry via AP)

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian pauses as he speaks at the Armenian parliament in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Pashinian on Sunday said the country could reexamine whether to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as independent. Such a move would likely obstruct further negotiations. (Tigran Mehrabyan, Government Press Office, PAN Photo via AP)

In this handout photo taken from a footage released by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Azerbaijan's forces destroy Armenian anti-aircraft system at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out Sunday around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry said two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation that "there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment" but did not give further details. (Armenian's Defense Ministry via AP)

In this image taken from a footage released by Armenian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Armenian forces destroy Azerbaijani tank at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan has broken out around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry says two Azerbaijani helicopters have been shot down. Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan also said Armenian forces hit three Azerbaijani tanks. (Armenian Defense Ministry via AP)

In this image taken from a footage released by Armenian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Armenian forces destroy Azerbaijani military vehicle at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan has broken out around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry says two Azerbaijani helicopters have been shot down. Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan also said Armenian forces hit three Azerbaijani tanks. (Armenian Defense Ministry via AP)

In this image taken from a footage released by Armenian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Armenian army destroys Azerbaijani tanks at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan has broken out around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry says two Azerbaijani helicopters have been shot down. Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan also said Armenian forces hit three Azerbaijani tanks. (Armenian Defense Ministry via AP)