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Armenian Forces Shell Azerbaijani Positions in Kalbajar Direction

By Mushvig Mehdiyev June 12, 2021

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Azerbaijani soldiers patrol border units in Tovuz region after attacks carried out between July 12-16 by the Armenian army, July 18, 2020 / Resul Rehimov / AFP Forum via Anadolu Agency

The Armenian troops opened fire on the positions of the Azerbaijani forces stationed in the Kalbajar direction of the state border on Friday.

"Starting from 13:45 on June 11, the positions of the Azerbaijan Army in the direction of the Kalbajar region were periodically subjected to fire, using small arms from the positions of the Armenian armed forces in the Yukhari Shorzha village of the Vardenis region," the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said in a statement.

The ministry reported Armenia's shelling of the Azerbaijan forces on Thursday, as well. No casualties or injuries were reported among Azerbaijani forces in the wake of the incidents.

“This fact once again proves that the Armenian side deliberately continues the policy of aggravating the situation and committing military provocations on the state border of the two countries on the eve of the elections,” the ministry said.

Armenian authorities described Thursday's shelling as a measure taken by the country's military to force the Azerbaijani troops to stop engineering work in what was described as “the territory of Armenia". However, the Azerbaijani side stated that its forces were in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan during the incident.

The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in recent months has deteriorated significantly due to Armenia’s attempts to carry out sabotage operations in the territory of Azerbaijan.

On May 27, the Azerbaijani military detained six members of two separate Armenian sabotage groups of 24 servicemen in Kalbajar. The detainees have been accused of mining the routes and paths used for supplying the military posts of Azerbaijan stationed on the border.

A week later on June 4, a mine explosion destroyed a bus that was carrying Azerbaijani journalists and government officials to one of Kalbajar’s villages. Two employees of the state-owned media organizations and an official from the Kalbajar district died in the accident. Four others were hospitalized with injuries.

According to the latest data, 27 Azerbaijani citizens, including 20 civilians, have been killed and 115 others, including 29 civilians, were wounded by mines in the liberated territories since the ceasefire came into force on November 10.

Provocations by the Armenian military have been common in the liberated Karabakh region of Azerbaijan after the war.

In November and December of the last year, after the ceasefire was signed, armed subversion group of the Armenian army hiding in the forests in the liberated Khojavand district of Azerbaijan committed two deadly attacks, killing four Azerbaijani servicemen and a civilian. The offensive was prevented in immediate counter-terrorist operation by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry and the State Security Service. Armenian armed saboteurs were identified as terrorists that illegally crossed the border of Azerbaijan after the ceasefire was signed.

Meanwhile, the State Security Service completed a preliminary investigation into the criminal case against 26 Armenian servicemen who were disarmed and detained as a result of the anti-terrorist operation carried out in December 2020. The investigation found that the servicemen illegally crossed the state border of Azerbaijan, taking forest and other positions in the northwestern part of Hadrut settlement of the Khojavend region.

The servicemen were said to have carried out armed attacks on enterprises, institutions and organizations located in Azerbaijan’s territory, as well as on individuals, with the aim of creating political pressure and spreading panic among the public.

Earlier, criminal cases launched against 14 and then 13 more members of the armed Armenian group were investigated and sent to court for consideration along with the approved indictment.