Azerbaijan and Armenia engaged in heavy fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on Monday, with both countries ignoring a renewed truce that was meant to come into effect at the weekend.
The truce was agreed on Saturday after a similar deal brokered by Russia a week earlier failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.
In both instances, Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another of breaking the truce within hours of agreed deadlines.
On Monday, ethnic Armenian officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said Azeri forces were shelling their positions in northern and southern areas of the line of contact that divides them.
They recorded another 19 casualties among their troops, pushing the military death toll to 729 since fighting with Azeri forces erupted on September 27; 36 ethnic Armenian civilians have died.
Azerbaijan does not disclose its military casualties, but on Saturday claimed 60 Azeri civilians had so far died.
The Azeri defence ministry said Armenian forces had shelled its positions in the Garanboy, Terter and Aghdam regions of Azerbaijan overnight and said the Agjebedin region was being shelled on Monday morning.
The reports could not immediately be verified.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accused Armenian forces of violating the truce, and said in a Twitter post there were “dead and wounded due to these heinous actions”.
More than 1,000 people have been killed since fighting began on September 27, including hundreds of soldiers and dozens of civilians.
Nagorno-Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan but has been controlled by Armenia-backed troops for more than 25 years.
The failure to halt renewed fighting has raised fears of all-out war and humanitarian crisis, while the conflict puts fresh strain on ties between Turkey, which strongly backs Azerbaijan, and its Western allies in NATO.