BAKU, Azerbaijan 

Armenia’s army on Saturday carried out missile attacks on the Hadrut settlement north of Ceyrayil city, which was liberated by Azerbaijan, according to Azarbaijani Defense Ministry.

A statement by the ministry said the missiles were launched from Azerbaijan’s Khojaly town, which was occupied by Armenian forces.

The statement also noted that the Azerbaijani army took necessary steps against the Armenian armed forces.

Azerbaijan and Armenia early Saturday had agreed to a cease-fire on humanitarian grounds beginning Saturday at 0800GMT to allow exchange of prisoners and retrieval of bodies in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Fighting began on Sept. 27, when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for some three decades.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

Many world powers, including Russia, France and the US, have urged an immediate cease-fire.

Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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