At least 135 Armenian soldiers killed in clashes with Azerbaijan
At least 135 Armenian servicemen have been killed this week in the worst border clashes with Azerbaijan since a war in 2020, according to a new toll announced Friday by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
“For now, the number of people killed is 135. Unfortunately, this is not the final figure. There are also many injured,” Pashinian said at a government meeting.
This brings the death toll on both sides to more than 200.
On the Azerbaijani side, the toll to date is 71 soldiers killed, according to Baku, since the start of the clashes which broke out on Tuesday.
This is an unprecedented escalation since 2020 threatening to torpedo a fragile peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two rival countries in the Caucasus.
Russia, the traditional mediator in this region, had announced a truce on Tuesday morning, but it had been violated for two days, the two camps accusing each other of bombardments.
A ceasefire was however « respected » Thursday according to the European Union.
These clashes are the most intense since a war between the two countries in 2020 for control of the Nagorny Karabakh enclave, which left more than 6,500 dead and led Yerevan to cede territory to Baku.
The events come as Moscow, which deployed a peacekeeping force to the region after the 2020 war, has its hands busy with the difficulties of its military offensive in Ukraine.
Prior to 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan had already clashed in the 1990s over Nagorny Karabakh, a conflict that claimed more than 30,000 lives.