Fragile truce holds in Nagorno-Karabakh

Fragile truce holds in Nagorno-Karabakh
People in Nagorno-Karabakh take refuge in a bomb shelter. (AP)
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Updated 11 October 2020

Fragile truce holds in Nagorno-Karabakh

Fragile truce holds in Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Armenia said Azeri forces launched a new attack five minutes after the truce took hold

STEPANAKERT: Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Saturday of breaching a fragile cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh, minutes after it came into effect at noon.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said Armenian forces had carried out attacks on the frontline and shelled populated areas. “Armenia is blatantly violating the cease-fire regime,” the ministry said.

The Armenian Defense Ministry accused Azerbaijan of shelling a settlement inside Armenia, and ethnic Armenian forces in Karabakh said Azeri forces had launched a new offensive five minutes after the truce took hold.

Nevertheless, there was little sign of the level of violence that has killed hundreds since renewed fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh began on Sept. 27. The mountainous enclave is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.

The cease-fire followed 10 hours of talks in Moscow mediated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said the two sides were now trying to reach a political settlement, but that there would be further fighting. “We’ll go to the very end and get what rightfully belongs to us,” he said.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said it was using all diplomatic channels to try to support the truce, and Nagorno-Karabakh’s Foreign Ministry accused Azerbaijan of using the talks as cover to prepare for more military action.

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said Russia would press for peace. “For Russia, the most important issues are the security of its borders from militants …  and Turkey’s rising role in the region,” he said. “This means Moscow can’t walk away … and allow a war to rage.”


French troops kill over 20 extremists in Burkina Faso

French troops kill over 20 extremists in Burkina Faso
Updated 21 January 2021

French troops kill over 20 extremists in Burkina Faso

French troops kill over 20 extremists in Burkina Faso

PARIS: More than 20 militants have been killed by French troops this month in Burkina Faso near the border with troubled Mali, the French military said Thursday.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso is struggling with a ruthless insurgency by armed Islamists who swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.
Almost 1,100 people have died and more than a million people have fled their homes.
French Tigre helicopters on Saturday "neutralised" a "suspicious convoy of 30 motorcycles" on Burkinabe territory near the Mali town of Boulikessi in which some 10 extremists were killed, said Colonel Frederic Barbry, spokesman for the French defence staff.
The same day, a French drone struck a four-wheel drive vehicle heading for Mali, he said.
On Sunday, French helicopters fired on a convoy of 40 motorbikes "allowing us to stop the convoy and neutralise more than 10 armed terrorists and destroy about 10 motorbikes," Barbry added.
France has deployed troops in the region to fight extremists.