OSCE chief calls to reduce tensions at contact line, doesn’t name culprits

OSCE chief calls to reduce tensions at contact line, doesn’t name culprits

PanARMENIAN.Net - Didier Burkhalter, Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, expressed concern about the deaths and injuries among military personnel and civilians on the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.

"As the OSCE chairman, I strongly encourage the sides to make full use of the valuable opportunity provided by visits by OSCE teams to the border and Line of Contact for direct communication with one another, with a view to reducing tensions," Burkhalter told Trend on Feb 4, the news agency reported.

In late January, a Nagorno Karabakh army soldier, Karen Galstyan, aged 20, sustained a deadly injury in a sniper attack at the northern direction of the line of contact with the Azerbaijani armed forces.

Simultaneous attempts of penetration by the Azerbaijani subversive groups were recorded on January 19-20 in the north-eastern (Jraberd) and south-eastern (Korgan) directions of the line of contact . The front units of the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic noticed the actions of the Azerbaijani subversive groups and started an organized defense in both directions. The rival was thrown back suffering palpable human and material losses. Junior Sergeant Armen Hovhannisyan died from the wounds he received during the exchange of fire in the north-eastern direction.

Also, as a result of the continuous firing from the Azerbaijani side, a 16-year-old girl was wounded in her leg on Thursday, Jan 23 night in Aygepar village of Armenia’s Tavush province. Intensive fire was registered in the direction of Armenian border villages of Nerkin Karmraghbyur, Aygepar, Chinari and Movses, RA Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan told PanARMENIAN.Net

The injured girl underwent a surgery in the hospital of Berd town and later discharged, according to Ankakh.com.

“The Azeris fired upon houses, roofs. Now the firing has stopped,” one of Aygepar residents told Razm.info.

According to Nerkin Karmraghbyur’s page on Facebook, the firing ceased at about 5 am Friday. No one was injured; roofs of some houses were damaged.

Earlier, village administration head Manvel Kamendatyan said that the electricity was turned off to avoid ignition.

Meanwhile, Azeri media outlets spread reports alleging that a woman was wounded by Armenians. However, no official comments followed.

Photo: suedostschweiz.ch
The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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