Tensions escalate between Armenia, Azerbaijan after shooting incident

WION Web Team
Armenia Published: May 28, 2021, 05:39 PM(IST)

Armenian acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan with a serviceman in Gegharkunik, near the site where six Armenian servicemen have been captured.  Photograph:( AFP )

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Armenia while denying the incident took place added that its soldiers were captured by Azerbaijan after its troops surrounded and captured six soldiers.

Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of opening fire at the border as tensions once again escalated in the area a year after they had exchanged heavy fire over Nagorno-Karabakh

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Azerbaijan's defence ministry said one of its soldiers was wounded after the Nakhchivan exclave on the border with Armenia and Turkey came under fire from Armenian forces. 

However, Armenia while denying the incident took place added that its soldiers were captured by Azerbaijan after its troops surrounded and captured six soldiers.

The US meanwhile expressed concern as State Department spokeswoman Ned Price called on both sides to resolve the incident peacefully 

"We also continue to call on Azerbaijan to release immediately all prisoners of war and other detainees, and we remind Azerbaijan of its obligations under international humanitarian law to treat all detainees humanely," Price asserted.

The French foreign ministry said both sides should show restrain and refrain from any provocation. 

Azerbaijan and Armenia were involved in clashes last year which led to the death of at least 6,000 people. Russia later brokered peace between the warring neighbours with Russian peacekeepers monitoring both sides.

Azerbaijan accused Armenia of deploying troops near Gegharkuni as both sides kept up the pressure on each other at the border.

The current development comes as Armenia is set to go to the polls on June 20 as acting PM Pashinyan faces protesters at home who have accused him of ceding too much territory to Azerbaijan 

Nagorno-Karabakh which consists of mainly ethnic Armenians had broken away from Azerbaijan after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in the early 90s with both Azerbaijan and Armenia clashes claiming over 30,00 lives.

(With Agency inputs)

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