Fatal clashes have broken out between Azerbaijan and Armenia, prompting the latter to declare martial law and order the complete mobilisation of its army in a move that Turkey warned will “throw the region into fire”.
Both sides claimed that the other had launched the first attack in the long-disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, with Armenia saying its troops had shot down two Azerbaijani helicopters and destroyed three tanks in response to an air and artillery attack on civilians.
Azerbaijan said it had merely responded to Armenian shelling, replying to the threat of escalation by saying it saw no need for total military mobilisation because its army is already fully staffed.
Armenian human rights groups said two civilians, a woman and a child were killed in in the onslaught, while Azerbaijan said several of its civilians had been killed and six had been wounded.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly ethnic Armenian region inside Azerbaijan that declared independence in 1991, declared 10 of its military staff dead, announced martial law and mobilised the male population, as civilians living in the region were told to take cover.