Azerbaijan has threatened to give a “severe” response to Armenian troops who have killed a second Azeri soldier this week in the latest conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh border region.
[ad id=”1838″]Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, “On March 13, the Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire. An Azerbaijani soldier was shot dead…. We will take revenge for our soldier and deal a great blow on the enemy… [and] Azerbaijan’s counter-strike will be severe.”
The incident comes two days after another soldier was killed in an attack on the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh on March 11.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have had a long-standing conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since a deadly war in the early 1990s.
Clashes between Baku and Yerevan troops mounted again in January following an unprecedented spiral of violence last year.
At least 18 people have reportedly been killed from both sides and 18 wounded in a new round of violence in sporadic flare-ups on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border since early January.
The decade-long conflict over the disputed region has yet to see a permanent settlement. The area which is inhabited by ethnic Armenians is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
The deadly war in the 1990s which killed 30,000 people from both sides saw the ethnic Armenian troops capture the entire area.
In 1994, Russia brokered a ceasefire although the Armenians remain in control of most of the enclave.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have since been engaged in peace talks which are mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The two warring sides have not signed a final peace deal, despite years of negotiations.
Baku, whose military spending is much higher than Yerevan, has threatened to recapture the region by force upon failure of negotiations.
However, Armenia’s military, backed by Russia, has downplayed the threats, saying it can appropriately respond to any offensive. [blog_list style=”def” display=”specific” category=”null” specific=”1686″]