Key battle opens up in Armenia-Azerbaijan war

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Politicians and spokespeople in both Azerbaijan and Armenia have confirmed Azerbaijan has captured Shushi

A man drives a car past a damaged building following recent shelling in the town of Shushi

Azerbaijan has recaptured a city in a disputed region in eastern Europe nearly two months after fighting broke out in the area between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, announced the country had seized control of Shushi, a city in Nagorno-Karabakh, on Sunday.

Vagram Pogosian, a spokesman for the president of the separatist government in Nagorno-Karabakh, confirmed on Monday that Azerbaijani forces had taken control.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan that has been out of Azerbaijan’s control since the end of a war in 1994. Fighting broke out between the two countries back in September, with both of them claiming the other had launched an attack first.

The control of Shushi (or Shusha, as it’s also known) is considered to be a significant military development in the fighting over the territory due to its position above the regional capital, Stepanakert.

Whoever holds the city has a strategic advantage due to its placing, which is also along a main road connecting Stepanakert with Armenia.

Several thousands of people are feared to have been killed in the latest fighting, which has been subject to three failed ceasefires between the two countries. According to reports, the main road is jammed with traffic as people are trying to flee the area.

Turkey, which is an ally of Azerbaijan, supported the recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin posted on Twitter: “And Shusha survived the Armenian invasion …Congratulations. Good luck.

Nagorno-Karabakh, which is around 1,700 square miles is about the size of the U.S. state of Delaware. It is 30 miles from the Armenian border.

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