Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other on Saturday of fresh attacks in violation of a week-old Russian-brokered truce that has failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.
Baku said 13 civilians had been killed and more than 50 wounded in the city of Ganja by an Armenian missile attack, while Yerevan accused Azerbaijan of continued shelling.
The fighting is the worst in the region since Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces went to war in the 1990s over Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory that is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
The Azeri Prosecutor General’s office said a residential area in Ganja, the country’s second-largest city and about 25 miles (40 km) from Nagorno-Karabakh, was shelled by missile strikes and around 20 apartment buildings had been hit. Armenia denied the claim and accused the Azeri army of targeting civilian settlements.
Baku also said that an electricity line that goes from Azerbaijan to neighbouring Georgia had been damaged as a result of shelling in the town of Mingachevir.
The European Union said targeting of civilians and civilian installations by either party must stop. “The ceasefire … must be fully respected without delay,” European Commission foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement.
Arayik Harutyunyan, the Nagorno-Karabakh leader, said “the intense military actions continued, especially in the southern direction”.
Azerbaijan’s defence ministry reported battles in Aghdere-Aghdam regions, which had been held by ethnic Armenian forces. Prosecutors said one more civilian was wounded as a result of heavy artillery shelling of Aghjabadi region by the Armenian side.
The war of words between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which are aligned with Turkey and Russia respectively, continued alongside the fighting.