Four Armenian soldiers killed by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh

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Four Armenian soldiers have been killed by Azerbaijani forces in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, according to Armenian officials.

The Armenian defense ministry said on Tuesday (June 27) that the soldiers were killed in an “unprovoked attack” by Azerbaijan near the village of Khtsaberd in the Hadrut district of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The ministry said that the Azerbaijani forces used various types of weapons, including grenade launchers and drones, and that the Armenian side had retaliated and inflicted losses on the enemy.

The ministry also said that two Armenian combat positions had been lost as a result of the attack and that 14 other soldiers had been wounded.

The clash area lies along the Lachin corridor, a strip of land that connects Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia through Azerbaijan and which is under the supervision of Russian peacekeepers deployed to the region in the wake of a 2020 war.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region that lies within Azerbaijan but was under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994.

In 2020, Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, launched a military offensive to recapture the region and managed to regain control of large parts of it after six weeks of fighting that killed more than 6,500 people.

The war ended after Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, brokered a peace deal in November 2020 that also involved the return of some adjacent territories to Azerbaijan.

However, both sides have since accused each other of violating the ceasefire agreement and tensions have remained high along the border areas.

The latest clashes have drawn immediate calls for de-escalation from world powers and regional actors.

Earlier this month, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Baku of pursuing a policy of “ethnic cleansing” in Karabakh, saying traffic is being blocked through the Lachin corridor — the sole road linking the territory with Armenia.

He also accused Azerbaijan of trying to establish a “corridor” through Armenian territory to connect with its exclave of Nakhchivan and its ally Turkey.

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