Agence France Presse
January 27, 2009 Tuesday 1:52 PM GMT

Three Armenian soldiers killed in Karabakh: Baku

BAKU, Jan 27 2009

Three Armenian soldiers have died in fighting near Azerbaijan's
disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, Azerbaijan's defence ministry
said Tuesday.

Defence ministry spokesman Eldar Sabiroglu told AFP the soldiers had
been killed Monday night after Azerbaijani forces opened fire on
Armenian soldiers seeking to take control of an Azerbaijani position
in the Aghdam region.

"As a result of an hour-long battle, three of the enemy were killed,
several wounded and the enemy was forced to retreat," he said. "There
were no losses among Azerbaijani soldiers."

A spokesman for Karabakh's military forces said he could not confirm
the information.

Armenian forces seized control of Nagorny Karabakh and seven
surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s, in a war that
claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and forced about a million people to
flee their homes.

The two countries have cut direct economic and transport links and
failed to negotiate a settlement on the region's status.

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces are spread across a ceasefire line in
and around Nagorny Karabakh, often facing each other at close range,
and shootings are common.