Armenian, Azeri forces accuse each other of shelling far from Karabakh

An image grab taken from a video made available on the official web site of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry on September 28, 2020, allegedly shows Azeri artillery strike towards the positions of Armenian separatists in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. (File/AFP)
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Updated 29 September 2020

Armenian, Azeri forces accuse each other of shelling far from Karabakh

  • Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said 10 civilians had been killed by Armenian shelling since Sunday
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged an immediate end to the fighting in the region of Nagorny Karabakh

BAKU/YEREVAN: Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Tuesday of firing into each other’s territory, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, as the worst spate of fighting since the 1990s raged for a third day and the civilian death toll mounted.
Dozens have been reported killed and hundreds wounded since the fierce clashes between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on Sunday in a new eruption of a decades-old conflict.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said 10 civilians had been killed by Armenian shelling since Sunday. There was no official information about casualties among Azeri servicemen.
The Armenian defense ministry said an Armenian civilian bus in Vardenis — a town in Armenia at the border with Azerbaijan and far from Nagorno-Karabakh — caught fire after being hit by an Azeri drone, but no one appeared to be hurt. It said it was making further checks.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians and is supported by Armenia. It broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s, but is not recognized by any country as an independent republic.
Any move to all-out war could drag in major regional powers Russia and Turkey. Moscow has a defense alliance with Armenia, which provides vital support to the enclave and is its lifeline to the outside world, while Ankara backs its own ethnic Turkic kin in Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged an immediate end to the fighting in the region of Nagorny Karabakh in phone calls with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, her spokesman said Tuesday.
“The chancellor urgently called for an immediate cease-fire and a return to the negotiating table,” Steffen Seibert said.
Merkel spoke with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday and with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, he added.
The so-called Minsk Group of mediators, led by France, Russia and the United States, “offers an appropriate forum” for dialogue, Merkel said in the calls.
The UN Security Council is due to hold emergency talks Tuesday behind closed doors on Nagorny Karabakh, diplomats said.
Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a territorial dispute over the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorny Karabakh for decades, with deadly fighting flaring up last July and in 2016.
 


Pakistan police arrest son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif

Updated 54 min 20 sec ago

Pakistan police arrest son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif

  • Police detain Mohammad Safdar at a Karachi hotel room where he is staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz

KARACHI: Pakistani police arrested the son-in-law of the country’s exiled former Nawaz Sharif on Monday after he led a crowd in chanting against the military at the tomb of the country’s founder.
The arrest of Mohammad Safdar comes as Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party has joined a series of nationwide protests against the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Police detained Safdar at a Karachi hotel room where he was staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz, who addressed a large anti-government rally Sunday.
Safdar on Sunday had visited the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led independence movement to get a separate homeland from Britain in 1947 when united India was divided into two countries: India and Pakistan. Jinnah remains a revered figure in Muslim-majority Pakistan, with his tomb often drawing politicians and leaders.
While at the tomb, Safdar led a crowd in chanting: “Give respect to the vote!” That slogan is viewed in Pakistan as criticism of the country’s military, which ruled the country of 220 million people — directly or indirectly — for most of its history.
Chanting political slogans at Jinnah’s tomb is widely considered taboo. Police say they arrested Safdar, himself a member of the Pakistan Muslim League party, after receiving a complaint from a citizen alleging he was harassed.
The 70-year-old Sharif who has had a long uneasy relationship with the military, served as Pakistan’s prime minister three times. A court in 2017 ousted him from power over corruption allegations. Sharif has been staying in London since November after being allowed to receive medical treatment abroad.
Several opposition leaders have faced criminal charges in recent weeks as organized opposition to Khan, a former cricketer, grows.