Azerbaijan loses 5 soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh clash

Screenshot of a video by Arshak Zakharian, a videographer from the Armenian Ministry of Defense, showing the skirmish on February 25 that resulted in the deaths of five Azerbaijani soldiers.

Noting that the Azerbaijani side "suffered losses", the statement does not specify the number of the soldiers killed in the fighting, according to the Azeri media outlets.

The rebel defence ministry in Karabakh said its forces have "repelled the enemy who suffered losses".

The press service of Artsakh Defense Ministry declared that the claims do not coincide with reality.

Overall, the Armenian armed units shattered ceasefire with Azerbaijan a total of 129 times throughout the day using 60 and 82-millimeter mortars (a total of 9 shells) and large-caliber machine guns.

"The first circle indicates the launch of the "Tropa" demining system". The Armenian side has no casualties and wounded. The third shows the Azeri troops escaping under Armenian fire. The scenes reflect the operations at directions of Aghdam, Akna. "The corpses of the Azerbaijani soldiers are clearly seen at the end of the video", Hovhannisyan clarified.

"Azerbaijan's military-political leadership has been escalating the situation along the Line of Contact and spreading disinformation for several days", the ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisian, wrote on his Facebook page.

The presence there of worldwide mediators is a step taken to prevent further bloodshed, according to the ministry.

The two sides must make all efforts to restore peace and settle disputes through negotiation and dialogue, Ghasemi said, expressing hope that all global institutions and mechanisms responsible for resolving the conflict remain committed to their obligations.

"In defiance to the calls of the global community, the demands of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries to strictly adhere to the 1994-1995 ceasefire agreements and to refrain from the use of force and threat of use of force, last night Azerbaijani side made an incursion attempt on the Line of Contact between Azerbaijan and Artsakh, inflicting another blow to the efforts by Armenia and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries exerted towards the peaceful settlement", the foreign ministry said."We once again draw the attention of the worldwide community, first and foremost, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries to the strict necessity to sober up Baku and to bring it to the reality".

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia's Defense Ministry similarly accused Baku of seeking to "mislead its own people and the worldwide community".

Levon Ayvazyan, Head of Defense Policy Department of the Armenian Ministry of Defense, received on Saturday the Military Attachés of foreign countries accredited to Armenia.

According to Ayvazyan, under the current conditions, the Armenian side hopes Azerbaijan will refrain from steps that will further escalate the tension.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry confirmed that there were clashes during the pre-dawn hours of February 25, but insisted the fighting was triggered by separatist forces.

Baku claims that the Karabakh side hindered the recovery of the bodies, bringing forth new requirements. The parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the truce. Several Azerbaijani attacks were also reported ahead of the centenary of the Armenian genocide commemoration marked on April 24 that year. Efforts to secure a permanent settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have failed despite mediation led by France, Russia and the United States. For example on January 20, 2015, the 25th anniversary of the "Black January" events in Baku, the Armenian military reported eight incursion attempts, with one of its servicemen killed. Global mediators from the OSCE Minsk Group called on the two sides "to keep heavy military equipment in its present positions and to allow recovery of the dead".

  • Rogelio Becker