Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

Disagreements over the Lachin Corridor in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh turned deadly, with both sides firing at each other.

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<p>File image IANS </p>
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File photo IANS



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Officials from both Armenia and Azerbaijan have blamed each other for the shooting. Armenia says at least three policemen were killed in the border dispute, while Azerbaijan says two of its soldiers were killed.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said the shooting occurred when soldiers allegedly started checking suspected weapons-carrying vehicles. Armenia says Azerbaijan’s armed forces opened fire on a car belonging to its passport and visa department.

The two states of the former Soviet Union claim the mountainous region and have been at odds over it for decades. Due to this conflict in 2020, there has been a regular war between the two countries.

The Lachen Corridor is the main cause of the conflict

After more than 6,000 lives were lost in the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a peace agreement was reached between the two countries in late 2020, mediated by Russia. However, even after the signing of this agreement, there have been many clashes between the parties.

A 2020 deal to end the war agreed to widen a road, known as the Lachen Corridor. It is the only legal corridor connecting Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. For the daily needs of around 120,000 people of the region, goods are transported through this corridor.

But environmental activists in Azerbaijan have largely blocked traffic on the road since December. They are protesting against illegal mining in the area. Armenia has also accused Azerbaijan of supporting the protesters who erected the barricades.

“It is now imperative to send an international fact-finding team to the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said in a statement after the latest deadly shooting.

“Today’s incident has once again shown that Azerbaijan needs to establish a proper checkpoint on the Lachen Khan Kandy road,” Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said.

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