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Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Heavy fighting breaks out despite cease-fire

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A missile strike levelled several homes in Azerbaijan's second city of Ganja on October 17

It is so sad that after the cease-fire agreement in Moscow between the countries the war is not stopped, the defence ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh region said on Friday it had recorded another 29 casualties among its military, pushing the military death toll to 633 since fighting with Azeri forces erupted on Sept.27.

"Who will be there, in what capacity - is still a question that is being discussed", said Nebenzya.

The Madrid principles, accepted in 2007 and updated in 2009, includes fundamental guidelines for achieving a political settlement to the decades-old Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

On October 9, talks were held in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russian Federation with the aim of reaching a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement.

He suggested any observer mission also might involve the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and the ombudsmen for human rights of Armenia Arman Tatoyan and the unrecognized republic Artak Beglaryan. Clause 4 of the Moscow agreement excludes participation of a third party by reaffirming the current format of talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan through the OSCE Minsk Group mediation.

It added that the Azerbaijani army "took adequate retaliatory measures". "Get out of our land!"

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Sunday called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to "fully abide" by the new truce, his spokesman said.

Fears remain of the conflict broadening, with Turkey strongly backing its ally Azerbaijan even as Ankara rejects charges it has sent in both Turkish military personnel and Syria militia members to help Baku.

Azerbaijani authorities said they were prepared to hand over the bodies of some Armenian servicemen to Armenia through mediation by the ICRC and an agreed-upon border corridor "in the direction of the Tovuz region".

Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan have not eased since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Armenia launched a military campaign against Azerbaijan that lasted until a ceasefire deal was reached in 1994.

Turkey has pledged support to Azerbaijan since hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh resumed at the end of September.

But it has never been recognised by any other state, including Armenia, while Azerbaijan has always made clear its desire to regain control in one of the most combustible conflicts left after the fall of the USSR.

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