BAKU 

Armenian forces continued to stage night attacks in a bid to re-capture the lost positions, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, while repelling the attacks, the Azerbaijan army destroyed three Grad type multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs), one ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon system, two BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), three Giatsint B howitzers, one D-20 type howitzer, three UAVs and a few personnel carriers and neutralized many Armenian soldiers.

Apart from regular troops from different Armenian army regiments, volunteers from Armenian participated in the night attacks conducted by small groups, but they suffered heavy human and material losses, the statement added.

The Azerbaijani army acts in compliance with the cease-fire and does not actively conduct any war activities, it underlined.

In a separate statement, the ministry also stated that Armenian forces opened fire on residential areas in Azerbaijan’s Aghjabadi, Agdam, Terter, and Goranboy provinces.

Following meetings in Moscow on Oct. 10, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on a humanitarian cease-fire so that conflicting sides could retrieve bodies left on the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh and hold prisoners’ exchange.

The clashes 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 Nagorno-Karabakh.

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

* Written by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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