: Armenian-backed forces dispute Azerbaijan's truce claims in volatile Caucasus region

16:56 Apr. 3, 2016

Armenian-backed forces dispute Azerbaijan's truce claims in volatile Caucasus region

In this Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, photo a convoy of Azerbaijan's Army tanks moves in the direction of Agdam, Azerbaijan (AP Photo)

Azerbaijan declares 'unilateral ceasefire' in Nagorno-Karabakh following international calls for peace

Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry says it has 'unilaterally' suspended hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, a statement already disputed by opposing Armenian-backed separatist forces.

Dozens of people have been killed in two days of clashes in the landlocked breakaway Caucasus region.

Watch also Flare-up in Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict leaves dozens dead on both sides

In a statement, the Azeri Defence Ministry said its forces would hold their fire, following international calls for an immediate ceasefire.

"Having taken into account ... appeals from international organisations, Azerbaijan has decided to unilaterally cease retaliatory military actions and will consolidate yesterday's territory gains," Reuters news agency quoted the Azeri Defence Ministry as saying.

The latest outbreak of violence has dashed hopes for a lasting peace in the region after a 1994 ceasefire deal was brokered.

Despite the Nagorno-Karabakh region being inside Azerbaijan, the regions ethnic Armenian population receives large military and financial backing from Yerevan.

With reporting from Reuters

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