Two Russian peacekeepers have been killed and one wounded in an attack in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian defense ministry said on Wednesday.
A car carrying the servicemen came under small arms fire near the village of Khtsaberd, which is controlled by ethnic Armenian forces but claimed by Azerbaijan. The attackers fled the scene and are being searched for by the peacekeeping contingent, the ministry said in a statement.
The incident is one of the deadliest for the Russian peacekeepers since they were deployed to the region in November 2020, following a ceasefire agreement that ended a 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The attack comes amid rising tensions in the region, as Azerbaijan-backed activists have been blockading the Lachin corridor since December 2022, demanding that Armenia withdraw its remaining troops from Nagorno-Karabakh and hand over the control of the enclave to Azerbaijan.
The blockade has caused a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, as food, medicine and fuel supplies have been cut off. The Armenian government has accused Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire and threatening the lives of civilians and peacekeepers.