'Those trying to intimidate Azerbaijan will regret it'

'Those trying to intimidate Azerbaijan will regret it'

President Ilham Aliyev vows to avenge blood of martyrs, accuses Armenia of firing on settlements, military positions

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) - Those trying to intimidate Azerbaijan will regret it, Azerbaijani leader said Sunday, referring to Armenian army's large-scale military provocations on the frontline early morning.

President Ilham Aliyev in his address to the nation said Armenian armed forces fired on Azerbaijani settlements and military positions from several directions, using various types of weaponry, including heavy artillery.

"As a result of the enemy fire, there are casualties among the civilian population and our servicemen. Some people have been wounded. May Allah rest our martyrs in peace," he said, without mentioning any specific numbers on casualties.

Aliyev vowed to avenge the blood of martyrs, saying the Azerbaijani army continues retaliation on Armenian military positions, and that many units of its military equipment have been destroyed.

"This is another manifestation of Armenian fascism," he said.

The Azerbaijani leader added that besides the attacks, Armenia continues its illegal settlements in Azerbaijani territories.

"Azerbaijan defends its lands, [Upper] Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan," Aliyev asserted.

- Early cease-fire violations

This July, the Armenian army attacked Azerbaijani positions with artillery fire, martyring 12 Azerbaijani soldiers, including high-ranking officers, and wounding four troops.

One elderly civilian was also martyred.

On Sept. 21, clashes in the same region flared up again when a soldier of the Azerbaijani army was martyred and another injured.

Since 1991, the Armenian military has illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of occupying Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied Azerbaijani regions.

The OSCE Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail.

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