Azerbaijan, Armenian forces fight new clashes before Geneva talks

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Published on October 8, 2020 by

Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces continued fighting in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Thursday, hours before the United States, France and Russia were due to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to try to avert a wider war in the South Caucasus.

One civilian had been killed in the Goranboy district and other villages and towns like Ganja, had been shelled by Armenian forces, Azerbaijan said.

Azeri authorities have reported 30 civilian deaths since fighting broke out on Sept. 27 over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave which under international law belongs to Azerbaijan but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.

Azerbaijan also says 143 civilians have been wounded, but has not disclosed information about its military casualties.

Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke away from Azerbaijan’s control as the Soviet Union collapsed, said on Wednesday its military death toll since Sept. 27 was 320. It also says 19 civilians have been killed and many wounded.

France, the U.S. and Russia are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group that mediates over Nagorno-Karabakh. They hope to persuade the warring sides to agree to a ceasefire after the deadliest fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh in more than 25 years.

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