BAKU, Azerbaijan 

Azerbaijani army continues its military operations to liberate territories occupied for nearly 30 years by Armenian forces, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

In a statement, the ministry said the country’s forces were carrying out operations of varying intensity in the regions of Agdere, Khojavend, Fuzuli, Hadrut, Qubadli and Lachin throughout the night.

Armenian forces opened fire with tanks, artillery, and mortars, while the Azerbaijani army continued activities in the main directions in accordance with operation plans, expanding the areas under their control, the statement added.

The Armenian troops in Qubadli withdrew with manpower and equipment losses, with many of the soldiers sent from the region of Tsaghkadzor in Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh neutralized, it said.

According to the statement, the Azerbaijani army destroyed two tanks, two armored vehicles, four D-30 howitzers, one 2A36 Giatsint-B gun and seven cars belonging to the Armenian forces in different locations on the front.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from occupied Azerbaijani territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory — including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions — has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (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.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new 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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