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Taking into account the international organizations’ appeals, Azerbaijan unilaterally suspended the counter-attacks and response measures in the territories occupied by Armenia, the statement posted on the Azerbaijani defense ministry’s website said.
The Azerbaijani defense ministry decided to strengthen the defensive positions of the liberated territories.
"If the Armenian armed forces do not stop provocative actions and continue shelling the residential areas and combat positions, the Azerbaijani armed forces will continue offensive operations to destroy the Armenian forces to liberate the occupied lands,” the statement said. “The offensive operations will be continued to ensure Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity by using all available military equipment."
The counter-attack was made following provocations of the Armenian armed forces at night of April 2, which resulted in deaths and injuries of civilians.
Six Armenian tanks, 15 gun mounts and reinforced engineering structures have been destroyed and more than 100 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were wounded and killed during the fights, the ministry said.
Twelve servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces heroically died, one Mi-24 helicopter was shot down and one tank damaged by a mine, according to the ministry.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
2016.04.03 / 13:42