Firing reported on Armenia-Azerbaijan border

Firing reported on Armenia-Azerbaijan border

June 9 2004

Yerevan. (Interfax-AVN) – The Armenian and Azerbaijani Defense
Ministries have reported that firing has occurred on the border
between the two countries.

The Armenian Defense Ministry press service said the military recorded
an attempt to illegally cross the border from Azerbaijan near the
village of Bergaber in the Tavush region last night. The attempt was
thwarted, and Azerbaijan opened fire at Bergaber in response, it said.

“Armenian servicemen had no choice other than to return fire and
suppress the fire from the Azerbaijani side,” the press service said,
adding that none of their soldiers was hurt.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s press service told Interfax that
Armenian forces fired at an area near the community of Goradiz,
which is 260 kilometers southwest of Baku, killing one Azerbaijani
officer and wounding a soldier.

In addition, the ministry reported that Armenia twice violated the
cease-fire in the past several days. It said fire was opened from
Armenia’s Idzhevan district on the evening of June 6, and not far
from the village of Heirimli, which is occupied by Armenia, in the
early hours of Monday. The Azerbaijani forces suffered no losses.

In the course of a bloody conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between the
Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the early 1990s, Baku lost control over
Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts bordering it. As a result,
over one million Azerbaijanis became refugees, who are currently
living in tent camps.

The UN Security Council has condemned the occupation of Azerbaijani
territory and called on Armenia to withdraw its troops from the
occupied territories.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement on May 12, 1994.

A self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno-Karabakh currently exists,
which is populated mostly by ethnic Armenians. It has close economic
and military ties with Armenia. Azerbaijan is seeking to restore full
control over Nagorno-Karabakh.

A negotiating process on settling the conflict is continuing with
international mediation. In particular, the OSCE set up the Minsk
Group, which is co-chaired by U.S., Russian and French representatives,
to mediate in the negotiations.