Four Armenian soldiers have tragically lost their lives due to Azerbaijani shelling near the border town of Sotk, situated in the northwest of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to official statements from Armenia’s Ministry of Defence.
The tensions between the neighboring nations, Azerbaijan and Armenia, have reached alarming levels in recent months. Accusations of mutual violations of agreements and cross-border gunfire have further fueled the conflict.
Armenia’s defence ministry stated, “As a result of an Azerbaijani provocation, four servicemen were killed and one wounded on the Armenian side.” Earlier reports indicated two casualties, highlighting the intensifying nature of the situation.
On the other side, Azerbaijan reported that Armenia had used drones to strike positions in the Kalbajar region, causing injuries to two Azerbaijani servicemen. In response, Azerbaijan asserted that it was taking “retaliatory measures.” Additionally, an Azerbaijani soldier sustained injuries in the cross-border fire exchange.
Baku’s defence ministry laid the blame squarely on the military-political leadership of Armenia, declaring, “We declare that all responsibility for the tension and its consequences lies with the military-political leadership of Armenia.”
Nagorno-Karabakh, a region internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, has been a persistent source of conflict between these two Caucasus neighbors since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite numerous mediation efforts by the European Union, United States, and Russia, both sides have been unable to secure a lasting peace settlement.
The situation escalated in August when Azerbaijan accused Armenia of amassing troops along their volatile borders, and Armenia, in turn, accused Azerbaijan’s military of firing upon European Union observers. The breakaway region’s separatist authorities had previously reported four Armenian soldiers killed by Azerbaijani fire in Nagorno-Karabakh in June.
The ongoing conflict in this strategically significant region underscores the need for urgent international diplomacy to find a peaceful resolution and prevent further loss of life.