Azerbaijan fires on Stepanakert with ‘reintegration’ talks underway

Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. September 20, 2023 (PHOTO)

Azerbaijani forces have reportedly violated Wednesday’s ceasefire agreement and opened fire on areas near the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, even with “reintegration” talks between officials from Stepanakert and Baku underway.

Azerbaijani troops “are using firearms in the suburbs of Stepanakert” and “gunfire can be heard from the center of the capital,” Nagorno-Karabakh’s state-run InfoCenter said Thursday afternoon local time.

The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh are “taking concrete steps with the relevant sides to resolve the situation,” the InfoCenter added. No other information was made immediately available.

Earlier Thursday morning, delegations headed by Nagorno-Karabakh lawmaker Davit Melkumyan and Ramin Mammadov, Baku’s point person for talks with Stepanakert, met for negotiations in the Azerbaijani town of Yevlakh.

The Nagorno-Karabakh government agreed to the talks in a Russian-brokered ceasefire deal Wednesday afternoon that will also see the Artsakh Defense Army fully dissolved.

The ceasefire came just 24 hours after Azerbaijan launched strikes across Nagorno-Karabakh, marking the worst outbreak of hostilities in the region since the 2020 war.

Read more: Officials meet for ‘reintegration’ talks as Karabakh death toll tops 200