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Azerbaijan Reports Shelling by Armenia; Nagorno-Karabakh Denies It

By VOA News October 11, 2020

Azerbaijan said Sunday that Armenian forces had shelled the city of Ganja overnight.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Twitter a new "On the night of October 11, #Ganja, the second largest city in #Azerbaijan and far beyond the frontline, came under rocket fire by the Armenian armed forces. The attack killed seven civilians and injured 39 others, including minors."

The defense ministry in Nagorno-Karabakh said that the charge of Armenian forces "shelling Ganja is an absolute lie."

The incident has not been independently confirmed.

A cease-fire between Armenian and Azerbaijani went into effect Saturday at noon local time (0800 UTC), at least temporarily halting deadly hostilities over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, which each country claims.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to the cease-fire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region after 10 hours of talks in Moscow. The truce is intended to allow both sides to exchange prisoners and recover the dead.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who mediated the talks, said the cease-fire should pave the way for further talks on the settlement of the conflict.

The talks between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were held at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin after nearly two weeks of fighting.

The United Nations human rights office said that it had received unconfirmed reports that more than 50 civilians, including children, have been killed since the fighting erupted on Sept. 27.

The fighting also claimed the lives of about 400 soldiers and forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

The predominantly ethnic Armenian territory declared its independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 during the collapse of the Soviet Union, sparking a war that claimed the lives of as many as 30,000 people before a 1994 cease-fire. However, that independence is not internationally recognized.

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