Azerbaijani troops and ethnic Armenians exchanged gunfire on Sunday in Azerbaijan's contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing at least five people, according to reports from Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Iran PressAsia: Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said on Sunday two servicemen were killed after Azerbaijani troops stopped a convoy it suspected of carrying weapons from the region’s main town to outlying areas. It said the convoy had used an unauthorised road. 

Armenia’s foreign ministry said three officials from the Karabakh interior ministry were killed. The convoy had been carrying documents and a service pistol, it said, dismissing Azerbaijani allegations that weapons were being carried as “absurd”.

It said Azerbaijan’s version of events was a “provocation planned in advance and instructed by the top leadership”.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have engaged in two wars in the more than 30 years both ex-Soviet states have been independent.

The fighting for the control of Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated enclave of Karabakh has claimed thousands of lives.

A fragile truce has been in force between the neighbours since a 2020 war that left more than 6,500 dead and forced Armenia to cede territories it had controlled for decades. 219