Armenia has said it lost at least 49 soldiers in Azerbaijan shelling near the ace near the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Monday night. The lingering conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenians declared a breakaway republic, had flared up in 2020, resulting in a war between the caucasian neighbors.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian told the parliament that Azerbaijani troops attacked Armenia's positions overnight. Armenia shelled the opposition in retaliation and Baku has said troops have died on the Azerbaijani side as well.
"At 00:05 a.m. [local time] on Tuesday, Azerbaijan launched intensive shelling, with artillery and large-caliber firearms, against Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk," Armenia's defense ministry said.
However, Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of carrying out "large-scale subversive acts" earlier on Monday night near the border districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin by placing landmines and mobilizing weapons.
"The countermeasures taken by the Azerbaijani military in response to the provocation by the Armenian military are local and directed against legitimate military objects that serve as firing points," Azerbaijan's defense ministry said.
As the simmering conflict escalated, Armenia invoked the cooperation agreement signed with Moscow after the 2020 war with Azerbaijan. Under the Russian-brokered truce, Armenia ceded swathes of territory to Azerbaijan and Russia deployed 2,000 troops to maintain fragile peace. Armenia on Tuesday appealed to the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, citing aggression from Azerbaijan.
According to Moscow Times, the Kremlin acted soon enough to negotiate a ceasefire. "We expect that an agreement reached as a result of Russian mediation on a ceasefire from 9:00 a.m. Moscow time (06:00 GMT) on Sept. 13 this year will be carried out in full," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Armenian journalist Ani Avetisyan tweeted that the Defense Ministry shared a video that showed Azerbaijani troops trying to cross Armenian border. The ministry said the attempt was foiled.
"An official video by ARM MOD reportedly shows the attempt of Azeri troops to cross the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The attempt failed according to MOD," the journalist tweeted.