A senior Armenian official says Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiated a cease-fire to end a flare-up of fighting that has killed 155 soldiers on both sides
YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiated a cease-fire to end a flare-up of fighting that has killed 155 soldiers from both sides, a senior Armenian official said early Thursday.
Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, announced the truce in televised remarks, saying it took effect hours earlier, at 8 p.m. (1600 GMT) Wednesday. A previous cease-fire that Russia brokered Tuesday quickly failed.
Several hours before Grigoryan’s announcement, Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported that shelling had ceased but it didn’t mention the cease-fire deal.
There was no immediate comment from Azerbaijan’s government.
The cease-fire declaration followed two days of heavy fighting that marked the largest outbreak of hostilities between the two longtime adversaries in nearly two years.
Late Wednesday, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Armenia’s capital accusing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of betraying his country by trying to appease Azerbaijan and demanding his resignation.
Armenia and Azerbaijan traded blame for the hostilities, with Armenian authorities accusing Baku of unprovoked aggression and Azerbaijani officials saying their country was responding to Armenian shelling.
Pashinyan said 105 of his country’s soldiers had been killed since fighting erupted early Tuesday, while Azerbaijan said it lost 50. Azerbaijani authorities said they were ready to unilaterally hand over the bodies of up to 100 Armenian soldiers.
The ex-Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.
During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories held by Armenian forces. More than 6,700 people died in the fighting, which ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal. Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers under the deal.