Baku (IP)- Azerbaijan launched military action in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, a step that could cause a new war in the unstable region but which Baku said was necessary to restore constitutional order and drive out Armenian military formations.

Iran PressAsia: Loud and repeated shelling was audible from social media footage filmed in Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh, called Khankendi by Azerbaijan, on Tuesday.

The Karabakh separatist human rights ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, said the civilian population had sustained "multiple casualties" as a result of strikes by Azerbaijan's military as Reuters reported and emphasized that it could not immediately verify his assertion.

In a statement announcing its operation, Azerbaijan's defense ministry spoke of its intention to "disarm and secure the withdrawal of formations of Armenia’s armed forces from our territories, (and) neutralize their military infrastructure."

Russia on Tuesday called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop combat activities in the Karabakh region.

“We are deeply alarmed by the sharp escalation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Russian side urges the conflicting parties to stop the bloodshed, immediately cease combat activities, and return to the path of a political and diplomatic settlement,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a news conference in Moscow. 


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