5 ARMENIAN SOLDIERS KILLED NEAR KARABAKH: REPORTS

Agence France Presse
September 10, 2009 Thursday 9:49 AM GMT

Five Armenian soldiers were killed in fighting with Azerbaijani forces
Thursday near the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, Azerbaijani
news agencies reported.

Azerbaijan's defence ministry did not confirm the reports and
Karabakh's defence ministry denied any of its soldiers had been killed.

The Azeri Press Agency and Trend news agency quoted local
correspondents as saying that five Armenian soldiers had been killed
and three injured during an exchange of fire in the Aghdam district
near Karabakh. The ANS Press agency said four Armenian soldiers had
been killed.

A spokesman for Azerbaijan's defence ministry told AFP he had no
information on the reports.

Karabakh defence ministry spokesman Senor Hasratian said that
Azerbaijani forces had fired on Armenian positions overnight but that
there had been no casualties.

"This is complete disinformation from the Azerbaijanis," he told AFP.

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.

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.