Cities under fire as Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting intensifies
October 05 2020 12:33 AM
Aftermath of recent shelling during a military conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabak
Aftermath of recent shelling during a military conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Stepanakert. David Ghahramanyan/NKR InfoCenter/PAN Photo/Handout via REUTERS

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces exchanged heavy rocket and artillery fire as fighting intensified over Nagorno-Karabakh Sunday, with the breakaway region's capital and Azerbaijan's second-largest city hit.
Armenia said that Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert, was hit again and AFP journalists said there were regular explosions and clouds of black smoke rising in parts of the city.
Azerbaijan's defence ministry said meanwhile that Armenian forces had shelled Ganja, a city of more than 330,000 in western Azerbaijan, with footage showing buildings in ruins.
Each side accused the other of targeting civilian areas, as the conflict widened a week after heavy fighting broke out in the decades-old dispute over the ethnic-Armenian region.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have resisted international calls for a ceasefire and clashes have intensified in recent days, with both sides claiming victories on the front and saying they are inflicting heavy losses.
In a fiery address to the nation, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev set conditions for a halt to the fighting. He said that Armenian forces "must leave our territories, not in words but in deeds" and provide a timetable for a full withdrawal.
Yerevan must also recognise the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, apologise to the Azerbaijani people and admit that the region is not part of Armenia, Aliyev said.



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