Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of violating Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

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BAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) – Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of swiftly violating the terms of a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday, raising questions about how meaningful the truce, brokered by Russia, would turn out to be.

The ceasefire, clinched after marathon talks in Moscow advocated by President Vladimir Putin, was meant to halt fighting to allow ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and Azeri forces to swap prisoners and war dead.

But within minutes of the truce taking effect from midday, both sides accused each other of breaking it.

The Armenian defence ministry accused Azerbaijan of shelling a settlement inside Armenia, while ethnic Armenian forces in Karabakh alleged that Azeri forces had launched a new offensive five minutes after the truce took hold.

Azerbaijan said enemy forces in Karabakh were shelling Azeri territory. Both sides have consistently denied each others’ assertions about military activity.