Civilians pay the price as Nagorno-Karabakh fighting continues


Since fighting broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, sirens and shells flying overhead have become the norm for some civilians.

In the city of Stepanakert – which is named Khankendi by Azerbaijan – one resident was showing Euronews the wreck of his house, destroyed by a shell on Saturday, when the air siren went off and the crew and the resident were forced to take cover in a shelter.

A humanitarian cease-fire was scheduled for midday on Saturday, but since then skirmishes and shelling have continued, with reports of civilians killed on both sides.

Susana, a resident of Nagorno-Karabakh, told Euronews: “When we were younger and our children were younger, we dreamt there would be no war. Our children got older and they also went to the same war.”

Both sides accuse the other of breaking the cease-fire.

Death tolls on the rise

Death and injury tolls continued to rise on Tuesday, with Nagorno-Karabakh military officials saying 16 servicemen were killed, bringing the total number of dead among troops to 532 since September 27, when the fighting flared up in the decades-old conflict.

Azerbaijan hasn’t disclosed its military losses, but both sides have claimed to have inflicted significant military casualties.

The former Soviet states of Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a bloody war over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s.

Thousands were killed on both sides, while hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.

The war ended with a truce in 1994, although there has been sporadic violence since, with Nagorno-Karabakh being inside Azerbaijan, but controlled by ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia.

Read the full article at: euronews.com