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Azerbaijan and Armenia agree to a pause in fighting

October 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

GANJA, AZERBAIJAN - OCTOBER 17: Search and rescue teams work on the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh on October 17, 2020 in Ganja, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Aziz Karimov/Getty Images)

Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the conflict over the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh on Saturday -- one week after truce brokered by Russia fell apart, according to a statement from the foreign ministries of both countries.

(CNN)Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the conflict over the contested enclave of Nagorno Karabakh on Saturday -- one week after truce brokered by Russia fell apart, according to a statement from the foreign ministries of both countries.

The dispute dates to the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Nagorno Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan, sparking a violent conflict that ended in a shaky 1994 ceasefire.

Armenia backed Nagorno Karabakh, which established a de facto independence that is not recognized by most of the world.

Armenia has said the current flare-up is between Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

Arayik Harutyunyan, leader of the contested region, welcomed the new peace effort, saying in a statement, "The Republic of Artsakh confirms readiness to observe the humanitarian truce on a reciprocal basis," in line with the ceasefire agreements brokered by Moscow on Saturday and one week ago.

Before the latest ceasefire attempt Saturday, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of a rocket attack against its second-largest city, Ganja, killing at least 13 civilians -- including three children -- and wounding more than 50 others.

The attack occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning and targeted civilian quarters in the central part of the city, according to a statement from the Azerbaijani prosecutor's office.

Azerbaijani presidential adviser Hikmet Hajiyev accused Armenia of using ballistic missiles in the attack and said authorities had evidence to support the claim, according to a Twitter post.

Last weekend, another temporary ceasefire fell apart after weeks of fighting, with the two countries trading accusations of violating the agreement amid reports of casualties.

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