Armenia suffers heavy loss

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126

Azerbaijan’s defence ministry meanwhile said its forces had “captured new footholds” and President Ilham Aliyev claimed that his forces took the village of Madagiz

STEPANAKERT (DNA) -: Amid fierce clashes, Armenia leaders said it was facing a ‘historic threat’ as the country reported heavy losses during the long-sought dispute at Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Yerevan’s defence ministry claimed separatist forces in Karabakh had repelled a massive attack by Azerbaijan, seven days after fighting erupted again in the decades-old dispute over the ethnic-Armenian breakaway province, but the Azerbaijan forces rejected this claim saying they had taken over key areas.

Armenia also announced the deaths of 51 more separatist fighters, taking the number of fatalities on both sides above 240.

Azerbaijan’s defence ministry meanwhile said its forces had “captured new footholds” and President Ilham Aliyev claimed that his forces took the village of Madagiz, a strategic hamlet within firing range of an important northern road.

The clashes took place after the regional capital Stepanakert came under artillery and rocket fire, with local defence officials reporting further explosions later in the day.

The fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh has threatened to draw in powerful players like Russia and Turkey.

Armenia is in a military alliance of former Soviet countries led by Moscow, which maintains a military base there, while NATO member Turkey has signaled its full support for Azerbaijan’s military operations.