The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denied the Armenian media outlets’ claims suggesting Azerbaijani troops targeted a fire-fighting truck in a statement released Aug. 17.
“In the Gaybalı district of Azerbaijan, where Russian peace forces are temporarily located, our troops there notified us at 6:00 p.m. that a fire broke out. In order to prevent the fire from spreading and to put it out quickly, we immediately informed the Russian peace forces. Claims suggesting our troops opened fire at the firetruck are groundless, and there is no report on the Russian side indicating such an attack.”
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan and seven adjacent regions. Fresh clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late September, rekindling the decadeslong conflict over the region.
During the conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several towns and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation. Fierce fighting persisted for six weeks despite efforts by France, Russia and the United States to broker cease-fires, before Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Moscow-brokered peace deal on Nov. 9.
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