By Dmitri Chirciu
MOSCOW (AA) – A mine blast in the Upper Karabakh region martyred one Azerbaijani soldier and also injured a Russian soldier, Russian military officials said Monday.
The blast took place in the Suqovusan region of Upper Karabakh during efforts to find the bodies of soldiers killed in the recent conflict, said Russia’s Defense Ministry. Four Armenian soldiers on temporary duty in the region were also injured, said a ministry statement.
The area is known to have mines planted by Armenian forces during their nearly three-decade occupation.
The injured Russian soldier was reportedly taken to a hospital in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, and his situation is not critical.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenian occupation.
On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing as the agreement specified.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk