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Azerbaijan destroys Armenia air defense in Nagorno-Karabakh

The undated photo shows Armenian separatists preparing to fire artillery in Karabakh.
Azerbaijan has destroyed an Armenian air defense system in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.​
An unnamed official from the press service of Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the targeted system was located in the Fisuli-Khojavend sector of Karabakh's front line.
"Azerbaijani forces destroyed on Monday an Armenian Osa air defense system and its crew in the Fisuli-Khojavend sector of Karabakh's front line in order to avert the threat it posed to Azerbaijan's aircraft," media outlets quoted the official as saying.
The separatist defense ministry in Karabakh confirmed in a statement that the Azerbaijani army had damaged its military equipment with a guided missile. The ministry, however, denied casualties among its troops. "Azerbaijani forces' provocation will not be left unanswered," the statement said.
On December 29, 2016, three Armenian soldiers were killed in clashes with Azerbaijani forces.
Frequent exchanges of fire between the military forces of the two countries nearly spiraled into an all-out war last year.
In March, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian called on world powers to step up pressure on Azerbaijan in an attempt to end hostilities.
The former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a lingering conflict over the disputed region.
In April 2016, at least 110 people on both sides were killed. A Russia-brokered truce ended four days of the fierce clashes in the same month, but attempts to re-launch a stalled peace process since then have been unsuccessful.
Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is governed by the self-proclaimed Karabakh republic backed by Armenia.
Baku and Yerevan have quarreled over the region since Armenian separatists captured the territory in a war that claimed nearly 30,000 lives in the early 1990s and ended in a fragile 1994 ceasefire deal. The two sides, however, never signed a solid peace pact. 

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