Some 24 people have been killed overnight as fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan intensified near the border between the two countries. Casualties include both civilians and fighters.
Violence erupted over the weekend following a decades-long territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region which is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory but after breaking away in 1991, is run by ethnic Armenians.
Fighting and the use of heavy artillery from both sides was reported throughout Sunday night and into Monday morning. The Ministry of Defence in Baku said that Armenian forces were shelling the town of Terter.
The region has been marred by conflict for many years but the recent fighting is the worst since 2016. It has raised concerns that the two ex-Soviet states could be heading for war.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has called on global power to prevent the involvement of Turkey who would side with Azerbaijan. Turkey blamed Armenia for the flareup and promised Baku its “full support”.
“The Turkish people will support our Azerbaijani brothers with all our means as always,” wrote the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The EU, France, Germany and Italy called for an “immediate ceasefire” and French President Emmanual Macron spoke of his “deep concern” and asked for an “immediate end to hostilities”.