Nagorno-Karabakh: Fighting spreads over the disputed territory, with two major cities...

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A building in “Stepanakert” is ablaze by shelling

Armenian forces bombed Ganja, the second largest city in Azerbaijan, as heavy fighting continued around the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The territory is officially affiliated with Azerbaijan, but under Armenian control.

And the regional authorities announced that they bombed the Ganja military airport after the Azerbaijani forces bombed the city of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno Karabakh.

Azerbaijan says the military sites in Ganja were not hit.

So far, more than 220 people have died since the fighting broke out a week ago.

A burning building in Stepanakert

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According to reports, the city of Stepanakert cut off electricity after the bombing

A war broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh, which lasted between 1988 and 1994. Ultimately, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire, but did not reach a final settlement to the conflict.

The current fighting is the worst since the ceasefire agreement was reached. Each side blames the other for the current outbreak of fighting.

There are concerns that the actual number of military and civilian casualties across the conflict is much higher, as the officially declared numbers have not been independently confirmed.

The Azerbaijani army says that its forces have regained control of seven villages in Nagorno Karabakh, while the regional authorities say that their forces have “improved” their positions on the front line of confrontations.

Earlier, Armenia said it was ready to work with mediators from France, Russia and the United States to reach a ceasefire.

But Azerbaijan, which has overt support from Turkey, demands the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Nagorno Karabakh and other neighboring areas under the control of Armenian forces.

“Nagorno Karabakh is our land,” the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, said in a televised address on Sunday, calling on Armenia to apologize and set a timetable for withdrawal.

He added, “This is the end. We have shown them who we are. We chase them like dogs.”

The latest field developments

Part of the destruction in the city of Ganja in Azerbaijan

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Part of the destruction in the city of Ganja in Azerbaijan

In a brief statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan said that the Armenian army bombed the city of Ganja in western Azerbaijan, in the northern Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Defense Minister Zakary Hasanov said the move was “clearly provocative” and pushes to widen the conflict.

And local media reported one civilian killed.

And the Ministry of Defense said in a statement issued at a later time: “The information published by the Armenian side about the alleged bombing of military installations in the city of Ganja is provocative and false.”

“As a result of enemy fire, civilians, civilian infrastructure and ancient historic buildings have been damaged,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities announced the destruction of the Ganja military airport. It said it did so in response to the missile strikes on Stepanakert, claiming that Azerbaijani forces used the Ganja facility to launch an attack on civilian areas.

And there were reports of severe injuries in “Stiapanakert”, where the power was cut off, according to the news agency, “Armenpress”. People were seen leaving the city in buses on Saturday.

“Armenpress” quoted the leader of the breakaway region, Aryk Harutyunyan, warning that “from now on, the military installations permanently deployed in the main Azerbaijani cities are legitimate targets of the IDF.”

Harutyunyan added that he gave orders to stop the bombing “to avoid the killing of peaceful civilians.”

Turkey condemned the bombing of Ganja, accusing Armenia of “targeting civilians.”

But a spokeswoman for the Armenian Defense Ministry said, “No fire was fired from any kind from Armenias territory towards Azerbaijan.”

Armenia provides economic and military support to Nagorno Karabakh, without officially recognizing the Autonomous Region.

Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have confirmed that 201 of their soldiers and a number of civilians have been killed since the outbreak of fighting on 27 September.

Azerbaijan announced the killing of 22 civilians, without disclosing information about its military losses.

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