Nagorno-Karabakh battles rage for second day: Live news

Live coverage of the continuing fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the disputed Caucasus region.

An image grab taken from a video on the official website of the Azerbaijani defence ministry on September 28 allegedly shows Azerbaijani artillery strike towards the positions of fighters from Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia [Handout via Azerbaijani Defence Ministry /AFP]
  • Heavy fighting that erupted on Sunday between Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region continued overnight and into Monday morning.
  • UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for “the need for an immediate stop to the fighting and resumption without precondition of meaningful negotiations without delay”.
  • Military and civilian deaths have been reported from both sides, in the worst escalation in violence since 2016.
  • Most of the international community, including the United States, Russia, Iran and European powers, have been calling for an end to hostilities and the start of talks.

Here are the latest updates on Monday, September 28:

20:35 GMT – Nagorno-Karabakh region says 26 more troops killed in fighting with Azeri forces

The Nagorno-Karabakh region said at least 26 more of its servicemen had been killed in fighting with Azerbaijan’s forces.

Fighting escalated sharply on Monday between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, as the two sides pounded each other with rockets and artillery in the fiercest round of the decades-old conflict in more than a quarter of a century.

19:45 GMT – OIC condemns ‘Armenian aggression’ on Azerbaijan

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned Armenia’s “aggression” on Azerbaijan and called for a political solution to the conflict between the two countries.

Renewing its solidarity with Azerbaijan, the organisation said it was monitoring with deep concern Armenia’s aggression in targeting several locations in its eastern neighbour and “violating the ceasefire and leaving behind civilian casualties”

“It [OIC] calls for the full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied Azeri territories and for dialogue to reach a political solution to the conflict between the two countries based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders.”

19:00 GMT – UN chief urges ceasefire in calls with Azerbaijan, Armenia leaders

UN chief Antonio Guterres is speaking to the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia, as fighting continues in the deadliest flare-up in years between the neighbouring countries.

Guterres stressed “the need for an immediate stop to the fighting and resumption without precondition of meaningful negotiations without delay under the umbrella of the Minsk Group co-chairs, and also for the immediate redeployment of [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] monitors to the region,” according to Guterres’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.

18:00 GMT – Azerbaijan: 2 killed, 2 wounded in Armenia’s shelling

Armenian artillery fire killed two civilians in western Azerbaijan, wounding two others.

In a statement, prosecutors said Armenian forces fired upon Azerbaijan’s Terter region in the evening hours.

Two brothers were killed and two others injured in the town of Shihah, the authorities said.

Another civilian in Terter was also killed due to artillery fire by Armenian forces in the morning.

17:10 GMT – UN Council to meet Tuesday on Karabakh clashes: diplomats

The UN Security Council is expected to hold emergency talks on Tuesday behind closed doors on the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorny Karabakh, diplomats told AFP.

Germany and France requested the meeting, but other European council members – Belgium, Britain and Estonia – support the move, the sources said.

16:30 GMT – Turkish parties condemn Armenian ‘attack’ on Azerbaijan

Turkey’s mainstream political parties have unanimously condemned what they saw as the Armenian attack on Azerbaijan.

They include the ruling Justice and Development Party and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), along with the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Good (IYI) Party.

“As political parties having representation in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, we strongly condemn the attack with heavy weapons by the Armenian Armed Forces targeting Azerbaijani civilian settlements and soldiers on September 28 in clear violation of the ceasefire and international law in Upper Karabakh,” according to a joint statement.

Turkey supports Azerbaijan’s right to self-defence in line with international law to protect its people and ensure territorial integrity, it added.

16:00 GMT – Armenia UN envoy condemns ‘blatant attack’ by Azerbaijan

The Armenian ambassador to the UN on Monday commented on the current crisis in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and said it was “a blatant attack” by Azerbaijan against democracy and human rights.

The ongoing conflict “indiscriminately targets civilians and constitutes a flagrant violation of core human rights” said Andranik Hovhannisyan, in a Human Rights Council session.

“We would like to draw the attention of the Human Rights Council to the fact that this ongoing military offensive indiscriminately targets civilians and constitutes a flagrant violation of core human rights instruments and the norms of international humanitarian law, as well as an appalling disregard for the UN secretary general’s appeal for a global ceasefire in all corners of the world due to the phrase of coronavirus.”

15:30 GMT – Turkey lira slides to new record lows on Caucasus clash fears

The Turkish lira skidded to record lows against the US dollar, euro and pound amid concerns Turkey could get more involved in a fast-escalating conflict in the Caucasus.

The Turkish lira slid 2 percent against the dollar and was on track for its worst day since early August when the latest bout of selling began hitting the currency that has shed half its value in less than three years.

Read more here.

15:00 GMT – Overall death toll rises to 67

The image shared by Azerbaijan Defence Ministry shows a howitzer firing munitions towards Armenian positions after the launch of a counter then a forward operation [Azerbaijan Defence Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Karabakh’s defence ministry said 27 fighters were killed in fighting – after previously reporting 28 – bringing their total military losses to 58.

The overall death toll rose to 67 including nine civilian deaths: seven in Azerbaijan and two on the Armenian side.

Azerbaijan has not reported any military casualties, but Armenian separatist officials released footage showing burnt-out armoured vehicles and the bloodied and charred remains of soldiers in camouflage it said were Azerbaijani troops.

14:05 GMT – Armenia appeals to European rights court in Azerbaijan conflict

The European Court of Human Rights says the Armenian government has asked it to issue urgent instructions to Azerbaijan to stop attacks on civilians as well as military advances towards civilian settlements in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Strasbourg-based court said it was examining the request. Armenia and Azerbaijan have both accused each other of attacking civilian targets in the latest conflict over the breakaway Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

Hello, this is Linah Alsaafin taking over the blog from my colleague Umut Uras.

12:50 GMT – Spain calls for ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez has said she was concerned about the recent escalation in hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

She also called for a ceasefire in her remarks during a news conference in Madrid.

12:30 GMT – Turkey’s Erdogan says Armenia must withdraw from Azerbaijani lands

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Armenia must immediately withdraw from Azerbaijani lands which it is occupying and that it was time to end the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region inside Azerbaijan run by ethnic Armenians.

Erdogan made the remarks during a speech in Istanbul.

12:00 GMT – Karabakh says 28 more of its troops killed in fighting with Azerbaijani forces

The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh said 28 more of its troops had been killed in fighting with Azerbaijani forces, bringing its total number of casualties to 59.

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces exchanged fierce fire for a second day on Monday over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, with the sides accusing each other of using heavy artillery.

11:25 GMT – Turkey says Armenia must send back foreign ‘mercenaries’

Turkey says Armenia must stop its occupation of Azerbaijan’s land and send back the “mercenaries and terrorists” it brought from abroad for stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have clashed.

“Armenia must immediately halt its attacks, send back the mercenaries and terrorists it brought from abroad and withdraw from the Azerbaijan lands,” said Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, adding a ceasefire and peace are needed.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar
Akar calls on Armenia to immediately halt its attacks against Azerbaijan [File: EPA]

10:45 GMT – Kremlin calls on Azerbaijan, Armenia to stop Karabakh fighting

The Kremlin has urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to stop all military activity that could further inflame tensions over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and said the fighting was a cause for serious concern in Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was following the situation very closely and the conflict had to be resolved through diplomacy.

10:10 GMT – Iran calls for talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says Iran’s policy of facilitating talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan and avoiding military conflict remains unchanged.

“We believe an immediate cease fire, abandoning hostilities and beginning bilateral talks is the only certain solution to this situation,” he said during his weekly news conference, adding, “the region cannot take more violence”.

Last night, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had two separate phone calls with his counterparts in Armenia and Azerbaijan and invited them to hold talks within the framework of international rules.

Three rockets fired as part of the conflict have landed on Iranian soil so far, according to Ali Amiri Rad, governor of a small county close to the Azerbaijan border called Khoda Afarin. He said it was unclear who fired the rockets and there were no casualties or damages since the area they landed was not residential.

09:45 GMT – Armenia’s parliament accuses Azerbaijan of ‘full-scale military attack’ on Karabakh

Armenia’s parliament has condemned what it said was a “full-scale military attack” by Azerbaijan on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and said Turkey’s involvement in the crisis could risk destabilising the region.

“The international community should take active steps to prevent not only aggression by Azerbaijan, but also Turkey’s ambitions to be involved in the … conflict which will lead to the region’s destabilisation,” Parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan said.

09:15 GMT – Azerbaijan declares partial military mobilisation

Azerbaijan has declared a partial military mobilisation following clashes with Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on mobilisation on the second day of clashes which the two sides, which fought a war over Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s, blame on each other and in which both have reported deaths.

Ilham Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev signed the presidential decreed on Monday [File: Ilmars Znotins/AFP]

08:45 GMT – Azerbaijan denies Turkey sent it fighters from Syria amid Karabakh fighting

An aide to Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev denies Turkey had sent fighters from Syria to Azerbaijan amid fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Rumours of militants from Syria allegedly being redeployed to Azerbaijan is another provocation by the Armenian side and complete nonsense,” said the aide, Khikmet Gadzhiev.

08:25 GMT – Armenian envoy: Turkey sent 4,000 Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan amid fighting

Armenia’s ambassador to Russia says Turkey had sent about 4,000 fighters from northern Syria to Azerbaijan amid fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Interfax news agency reported.

The ambassador said the fighters were taking part in fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region inside Azerbaijan that is run by ethnic Armenians, the RIA news agency reported.

Turkey is a close ally of Azerbaijan.

07:55 GMT -Azerbaijan says six civilians killed

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry has said a total of six Azerbaijani civilians have been killed and 19 wounded since the fighting began.

07:46 GMT – Heavy weaponry used as fighting intensifies

Al Jazeera’s Robin Forestier-Walker, who has extensively covered developments in the region, said battles along the so-called “line of contact” – the de facto border between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan – continued into the morning.

“That would involve artillery, rockets and we know that both sides have deployed drones,” he said from Tbilisi, Georgia. “Yesterday we saw startling footage released by Armenia of Azerbaijani tanks being destroyed, so we know a lot of serious heavy weaponry is in use.”

07:30 GMT – Biden: Russia should stop providing arms to sides

The US Democratic presidential nominee expressed deep concern over the outbreak of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for urgent de-escalation, restoration of the ceasefire and a resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In a statement, the former vice president urged the Trump administration to step up its diplomatic efforts to seek a peaceful resolution and to call on Russia “to stop cynically providing arms to both sides”.

06:50 GMT – Trump: US will seek to stop violence between Armenia, Azerbaijan

US President Donald Trump said Washington will seek to stop the fighting in the region.

“We’re looking at it very strongly,” Trump said in a press briefing. “We have a lot of good relationships in that area. We’ll see if we can stop it.”

Trump says the US is looking into the conflict that ignited in Nagorno-Karabakh very strongly [File: AP]

06:30 GMT – Nagorno-Karabakh: 15 more troops killed in fighting with Azerbaijani forces

Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said 15 more military personnel had been killed in the continuing fighting, bringing the total to more than 30.

It came after Arayik Harutyunyan, leader of the breakaway region, said on Sunday that his forces had lost some positions to Azerbaijan’s army amid renewed clashes.

Read more here.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s September 28 live coverage of the military escalation between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. I’m Umut Uras in Doha.

You can read the updates from September 27 here.

Source: Al Jazeera