The government of the Nagorno Karabakh enclave denounced that Azeri troops bombed its capital, Stepanakert, on Friday.
The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh continues to escalate, and this Friday the weak humanitarian truce that the great powers had achieved was broken again.
The spokesman for the president of Nagorno Karabakh, Araik Aratunián, denounced that the Azeri troops today bombed the capital of the enclave, Stepanakert, where most of its inhabitants fled while the few that remain took refuge in basements.
According to Armenian sources, they are also attacking the town of Sushi, in Upper Karabakh. The Armenian defense forces are responding with heavy artillery.
This is the second truce in less than a month that has been broken, despite the permanent request from Russia, France and the United States to stop the fighting and to sit down to negotiate.
Today, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan, but there were no signs of progress towards a cessation of hostilities.
Pompeo shook hands and exchanged compliments but did not comment further in their respective State Department meetings with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenia’s Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.
The two foreign ministers had ruled out a trilateral meeting in Washington and Bayramov was seen leaving shortly before Mnatsakanyan’s arrival.
This meeting had generated great expectations, but so far not much has been achieved.
Meanwhile, the death toll continues to grow and is estimated to total more than 5,000, as revealed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“According to our data, the number of deaths is more than 2,000 for each party, this means that the total number of deaths is approaching 5,000,” Putin said in a television interview.
The Russian president said that “the first thing to do is to immediately suspend military actions.” “We agreed on it at the meeting in Moscow. But sadly, we could not control the situation. We will keep trying, “Putin said.
“This conflict broke out not only as a conflict between States and a struggle for territory. It began with an ethnic confrontation. And also, unfortunately, it is a fact when in Sumgaiti and later in Karabakh there were serious crimes against the Armenian people,” he explained the Russian president.
Sources: EFE, AFP and Clarín