Fighting in Nagorno-Karbakh showing no sign of easing

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Armenia’s defence ministry on Friday said Nagorno-Karabakh air defence systems had shot down an Azeri warplane and two drones, an online government platform reported.

Fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces continued for a sixth day in the heaviest clashes since the 1990s around Nagorno-Karabakh.

The defence ministry of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh reported 54 more military casualties on Friday, bringing the death toll to 158, Russia’s Interfax news agency said in a report.

Fighting broke out on Sunday between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh — which is part of Azerbaijan but run by its mostly ethnic Armenian inhabitants — and has reached its most serious level since a war in the 1990s.

A man stands inside a flat damaged by Azerbaijani shelling in the village Ivanyan, in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (also known as Artsakh). EPA-EFE/Vahram Baghdasaryan

Meanwhile, Armenia’s foreign ministry said on Friday it was ready to engage with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to re-establish a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, where fighting has been raging since Sunday.

France, Russia and the United States, co-chairs of the OSCE’s Minsk Group, set up in 1992 to mediate in the conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians over the mountainous enclave in the South Caucasus, called for an immediate ceasefire on Thursday. But Turkey said the three big powers should have no role in peace moves.

Inside view of a house allegedly damaged by an alleged recent shelling in the settlement of Bakharly in Agdam region in Nagorny Karabakh. EPA-EFE/AZIZ KARIMOV

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