Azerbaijani troops used mortar to shell Artsakh positions

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YEREVAN, April 30. /ARKA/. The Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Ministry of Defense said Azerbaijani armed forces used a 60 mm caliber mortar today to shell the Armenian positions on the eastern section (Martuni) of the contact line.

It said the shelling occurred at 15.00 and 17. 25. It said also the shelling did not cause losses on the Artsakh side.

Armenian forces retaliated suppressing the Azerbaijani troop’s activities. The ministry said it was the first instance of using mortar on the line of contact by Azerbaijani forces since June 2019 . During the day, the Azerbaijani troops used also small arms breaching the ceasefire on the contact line.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.

On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.

In the early hours of April 2, 2016 Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.

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