Border clashes broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. This is said to have been the deadliest of clashes between the two countries since the war in 2020.
The clashes caused the death of soldiers on both sides.
What is happening in the region right now?
Armenia and Azerbaijan have blamed each other over the clashes that erupted early on Tuesday morning. BBC reported that according to Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, 49 soldiers of the country died. Azerbaijan's defence ministry, meanwhile, said that 50 people from their side had been killed.
Armenia has said that the clashes broke out after Azerbaijani forces began a cross-border attack. Al Jazeera reported that the Armenian defence ministry said that mortars, drones, artillery and large-calibre rifles were used by the other side during the attack. The attack reportedly affected several areas around the border.
Reuters quoted "Intensive shooting is continuing - started as a result of a large-scale provocation by the Azerbaijani side. Armenia's armed forces have launched a proportionate response."
Azerbaijan has, meanwhile, said that several of its posts came under shelling from the Armenian side. According to the Reuters report, Azerbaijani side said that Armenian forces conducted mining operations and intelligence activities on the border since Monday night.
How have world leaders reacted?
Amid the escalation of tensions, world leaders have called for peace in the region. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan to convey his concerns over the conflict in the region.
French president Emmanuel Macron also expressed concern over the situation and called for a ceasefire. France, according to an AFP report, offered assistance to Azerbaijan along with the European Union to broker peace.
Meanwhile, Russia, which is an ally of Armenia, said it brokered a ceasefire agreement in Moscow, according to Al Jazeera.
What is the history behind the conflict?
Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over the Nagorno-Karabakh region — one in 2020, and one in the 1990s. While the region is recognised by international powers to be part of Azerbaijan's territory, most of the population in the region are Armenians.
Conflict over the region when both countries were part of the Soviet Union. According to the Reuters report, Armenians had managed to take over large sections of the Nagorno-Karabakh region even though it was recognized by Azerbaijan's territory.
Al Jazeera reports that Armenians in the territory either want to join Armenia or want to secede from Azerbaijan.
In 2020, the two countries fought a war for six weeks that left over 5,000 people dead. According to the BBC, Moscow brokered an agreement and deployed 2,000 Russian peacekeepers.
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