Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital News
Azerbaijan appears to be closing in on the strategic town of Shusha, home to an Armenian cathedral that has been damaged in the fighting


Heavy fighting near key town in Karabakh

Reservists in the Shusha region last week © AFP/File / Karen MINASYAN

Yerevan, Armenia, Nov 7 – Armenia reported Saturday that “fierce combat” with Azerbaijani forces took place overnight near the town of Shusha, a key stronghold in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

After weeks of heavy fighting over the mountainous province, Azerbaijan appears to be closing in on the strategic town, 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Karabakh’s main city Stepanakert.

The hilltop town of Shusha is located on a main road that links the unrecognised republic’s capital with the territory of Armenia, which backs the separatists fighting for Karabakh’s independence.

Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan reported “especially intensive and fierce combat” overnight outside Shusha, adding that numerous attacks from Azerbaijan were thwarted.

Armenia also said that throughout the night there was regular shelling on Shusha, home to a beloved Armenian cathedral that was damaged in attacks last month.

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry rejected this claim saying the information of shelling on Shusha is “completely untrue”.

A second Armenian army spokesman, Artsun Ovanissian, wrote on Facebook that there had been “no loss, no retreat” at Shusha and that “fighting continues”.

Meanwhile Karabakh authorities said the territory’s main city Stepanakert had been hit by Soviet-era Grad and Smerch rockets, although no-one was hurt.

Clashes broke out late September between Azerbaijan and Armenia-backed separatists over control of Karabakh, a region that proclaimed its independence from Baku during a war in the 1990s.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The recent flare-up has been the worst in decades, killing more than 1,000 people, including civilians, although the death toll is believed to be much higher.

The fighting has continued despite several attempts by Russia, France and the United States to help reach a lasting ceasefire.

Those three countries make up the Minsk group of mediators which helped broker a truce between the ex-Soviet rivals in 1994 but are yet to find a lasting solution to the long-simmering conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said Saturday that he had spoken with Russian leader Vladimir Putin by phone and agreed that “fighting must be stopped” in Karabakh “to allow negotiations to restart on a realistic basis”.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have each accused the other of targeting civilian areas and the United Nations this week decried indiscriminate attacks that could amount to “war crimes”.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has appealed to ally Russia for military support, while Azerbaijan has won the backing of Turkey, which is accused of sending mercenaries to Karabakh to fight against the separatists.


More on Capital News

Capital Health

Blantyre, Malawi, Jan 18 – Malawi is set to roll out a first set of anti-coronavirus restrictions this week, the president said, after overruling a...


Johannesburg, South Africa, Jan 18 – “This place is definitely not what it used to be,” said Eben Uys, gently wiping the dust from...

County News

Kananu's impending inauguration as Governor is part of an elaborate scheme to evade a by-election under Article 182 (5) which requires the Independent Electoral...

County News

The suspect is said to have rushed his wife, who was bleeding profusely, to Ahero Sub County Hospital where she died while undergoing treatment.


Hong Kong, China, Jan 18 – China on Monday likened outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to a “praying mantis” in a colourful condemnation of...


While acknowledging that majority of Kenya’s youthful population are jobless, he cautioned politicians against inciting them against the rich.

US Elections (2020)

Washington, United States, Jan 18 – President-elect Joe Biden’s top advisors on Sunday outlined his plans to tackle the nation’s multiple crises while balancing...

Corona Virus

Sydney, Australia, Jan 18 – Australia’s international borders are unlikely to open to travellers this year despite the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, a top...