A car drives past the remains of spent ammunition following a recent shelling in the city of Tartar, Azerbaijan on 28 September 2020.

Source: Reuters

Caption: A car drives past the remains of spent ammunition following a recent shelling in the city of Tartar, Azerbaijan on 28 September 2020.

Baku, Yerevan trade accusations as internet access across Azerbaijan is disrupted

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of firing into non-disputed areas outside Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday, as the clashes between the armed forces continue on its third day.

Both sides accuse each other of launching the attack first and civilian and military casualties have been reported on both sides. Yerevan claimed that Azerbaijani armed forces fired at a military unit in Vardenis, Armenia. Baku stated in turn that the Dashkesen region was shelled from Vardenis.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Tuesday that 10 civilians had been killed by Armenian shelling since Sunday. The Prosecutor General's Office stated that one more civilian was killed while a total of 33 civilians had been injured and hospitalized so far. It also added that “65 houses and 5 civilian facilities were damaged as a result of the Armenian shelling.”

Nagorno-Karabakh's Defence Ministry said in a statement reported by AFP that the military death toll has risen to 59. Two civilians, a woman and a child, were killed on the first day of the fightings, according to the Armenian figures.

Baku has yet to inform about the military casualties, but based on its own monitoring, Khazar Military Research Institute (CDSI) said on Monday that at least 11 servicemen were killed on the Azerbaijani side.

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry stated early Tuesday that attacks are continuing in the areas of Fizuli, Jabrayil, Agdere and Terter - the Armenian-occupied areas of Azerbaijan located around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Military reservists continued to be called up to the front.

Internet disrupted across Azerbaijan

As the fighting rages on with no clear end in sight, internet across Azerbaijan has been disrupted on a major scale.

Many government websites were inaccessible on 27 September. On 28 September, some of them were once again available.

At the same time, many Azerbaijanis were unable to access social media platforms, including Whatsapp, Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and Skype unless using a VPN, according to Azerbaijan Internet Watch. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation, Communication and High Technologies released a statement warning users about using VPNs, and acknowledged the restrictions as being to "prevent large-scale provocations from Armenia", according to information gathered by NetBlocks.

NetBlocks details the internet outages in Azerbaijan on 27 September.

Source: Twitter

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, was declared independent by ethnic Armenians living there as the Soviet Union collapsed. A ceasefire signed in 1994 under the auspices of Moscow put a fragile end to a large-scale conflict. Peace talks mediated by France, US and Russia were unsuccessful and since then, conflict is volatile, with flare-ups sporadically occurring.

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