Armenian shelling kills 2
Armenian forces have killed a two-year-old Azerbaijani girl and her grandmother in a fresh border clash near the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region, Baku said yesterday. Ex-Soviet Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a decades-long conflict over the disputed region, and frequent exchanges of fire nearly spiraled back into all-out war a year ago. The toddler and her grandmother were killed Tuesday “as a result of a targeted and deliberate attack on civilians” in the village of Alkhanli “by the armed forces of Armenia” using mortars and heavy grenade launchers, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. Karabakh’s rebel authorities said they opened fire in response to Azerbaijan shelling their positions. “Azerbaijanis deploy their positions in populated areas, using civilians as a human shield,” a Karabakh defense ministry statement said. Baku and Yerevan have feuded over the Nagorny Karabakh region since Armenian separatists seized the territory in a war that claimed some 30,000 lives in the early 1990s and ended in a fragile 1994 truce.