Armenian troops shell city of Ganja, says Azerbaijan
YEREVAN/BAKU (ARMENIA/AZERBAIJAN) – Baku said on Sunday that Yerevan troops shelled its second city of Ganja escalating the conflict in the South Caucasus further.
On the other hand, Armenia denied that it had fired mortar shells at Azerbaijan. The leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an enclave inside Azerbaijan ruled by ethnic Armenians, said his troops had destroyed a military base near Ganja.
“Permanent military units located in the large cities of Azerbaijan from now on become the targets of the defence army,” said Karabakh leader Arayik Harutyunyan.
According to the Azeri defence ministry, its cities of Terter and Horadiz near the frontier with Nagorno-Karabakh came under heavy shelling while the breakaway province’s capital Stepanakert, was under bombardment, said its authorities.
The skirmish broke out a week ago and soon intensified to its worst level ever since the 1990s when fighting in the region left 30,000 people dead.
If the conflict intensifies, it could see the involvement of other regional powers such as Russia and Turkey, jeopardizing oil and gas supplies as the pipelines pass through the South Caucasus.