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Armenian Soldiers Killed in Disputed Region, Arminfo Reports

Two Armenian soldiers were killed in a clash with Azeri forces near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, privately owned Arminfo reported today, citing the Armenian Ministry of Defense.

Aren Simoyan and Miran Markarian, both 19 years old, were killed on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 by Azeri sniper fire south of Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke free of Baku’s control following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, David Karapetian, a spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Defense, was quoted by the newswire as saying today. He accused Azerbaijan of escalating tensions in the region and said that Armenia side will “retaliate disproportionately.”

Azeri Defense Ministry spokesman Teymur Abdullayev wasn’t immediately available for comment when called at his office and on his mobile phone.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a flashpoint in a region where BP Plc and its partners have invested about $33 billion in energy projects since 1994. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said earlier this month that Azerbaijan may use military force to regain control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azeri regions if peace talks, mediated by the U.S., Russia and France, produce no results.

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