Armenia, Azerbaijan Trade Blame For Deadly Shooting Along Border

An Azerbaijani soldier and two Armenian soldiers have been killed in the latest fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, according to military officials in Baku and Yerevan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are blaming each other for the deadly violence and both sides have warned that tensions along the border are escalating.

Armenia's Defense Ministry said Azerbaijani forces opened fire around 3:15 p.m. (1115 GMT/UTC) in the border area near Verin Shorzha in the eastern Gegharkunik Province.

It initially said one Armenian serviceman was wounded, but later revised its casualty figures to two dead and two wounded.

The ministry also claimed later on January 11 that Azerbaijani forces had fired artillery across the border and used drone aircraft in the altercation, adding that shooting by Azerbaijani forces was "suppressed due to retaliatory actions of the Armenian side."

It said that as of 5 p.m., the situation along the border was "relatively stable" and "under full control of the Armenian armed forces."

Earlier, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry reported that an Azerbaijani serviceman was killed along the border with Armenia "as a result of an Armenian provocation in the direction of Azerbaijan's Kalbacar district."

The ministry denied that Azerbaijan's military used artillery or drones, saying to its forces were "responding to a provocation by the enemy."

It also said Armenian fire was "suppressed due to corresponding actions taken by units of the Azerbaijani Army."

Baku added, "the entire responsibility for the latest tensions lies with the military-political leadership of Armenia."