- France, US, Russia to hold talks in Geneva
- Turkey says the Minsk Group should not be involved in mediating the conflict
- Azerbaijan says city of Ganja shelled by Armenian forces, killing one civilian
- Baku claims 30 Azeri civilians killed to date, but does not release military casualties
- Nagorno-Karabakh says death toll among military rises to 350
14:55 GMT – Three journalists hurt in Azeri shelling: Karabakh authorities
Three journalists were hurt by Azeri shelling in the town of Shushi in Nagorno-Karabakh, one of whom has been hospitalised and is in a serious condition, authorities in the region said.
The journalist in a bad condition was a Russian national who worked as an editor for Segodnya.ru, authorities said. The other two were an Armenian national and an international media journalist who was not immediately identified, they said.
14:30 GMT – Russia says in talks to organise meeting with top Armenia, Azeri officials: Ifax
Russia’s foreign ministry has said that it was in talks with Azerbaijan and Armenia to organise a possible meeting in Moscow with Russia and the two government’s foreign ministers, the Interfax news agency reported.
13:55 GMT – Azerbaijan denies shelling historic cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan has denied its forces had shelled a historic cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh’s city of Shusha as claimed by Armenia.
“The information about the damage to the church in Shusha has nothing to do with the military actions of the Azerbaijani army,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
“Unlike the armed forces of Armenia… the Azerbaijani army does not target historical, cultural, or especially religious buildings and monuments.”
13:45 GMT – Azerbaijan recalls its ambassador to Greece for consultation: Foreign ministry
Azerbaijan has recalled its ambassador to Greece for consultations after it alleged Athens had allowed Armenian citizens from around the world to transit through its territory to join the battlefront.
“We brought to the attention of the Greek Foreign Ministry information from open sources about the arrival of Armenian citizens from foreign countries, including from Greece, to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to participate in military operations,” the ministry said in a statement.
Armenia denied the allegations and Athens had recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan on Wednesday after what it said were “unfounded and offensive” allegations by the Azeri government that Greece tolerated militants on its soil.
11:30 GMT – Historic Armenian cathedral damaged in Karabakh shelling
Armenia said that Azerbaijani forces had shelled a historic cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh’s city of Shusha, where AFP journalists saw the church had suffered serious damage.
There was a gaping hole in the roof of the Ghazanchetsots (Holy Saviour) Cathedral, an iconic site for the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Rubble was strewn about the floor, pews were knocked over and the interior was covered in dust from parts of the building’s limestone walls that had been hit. A section of its metallic roof had collapsed and fallen to the ground outside.
10:10 GMT – Turkey FM comments on Nagorno-Karabakh
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the “status quo has to be changed” regarding the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia adding that Turkey respects the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Turkey has publicly backed Azerbaijan in the conflict and said it was ready to provide military assistance, should Azerbaijan request it.
Speaking at the annual Globsec forum in Bratislava, Cavusoglu also added that he was against any conflict in the Black Sea region, adding that Turkey is not flirting with Russia and supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
09:09 GMT: – Armenia dismisses head National Security Service
Armenia on Thursday dismissed Argishti Kyaramyan, the head its National Security Service, the Interfax news agency reported citing a presidential decree.
07:45 GMT – France, US and Russia to meet on Nagorno-Karabakh
France, the United States and Russia will step up efforts to end fighting between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces in the South Caucasus by holding talks in Geneva, as fears of a regional war grow.
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said Russian, French and US representatives would also meet in Moscow on Monday to look at ways to persuade the warring sides to negotiate a ceasefire. The three countries are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group that mediates over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Turkey has accused the group of neglecting the conflict and said it should not be involved in mediation.
Le Drian hit back at Turkey, reiterating accusations – denied by Ankara – that it is involved militarily and saying this fuelled the “internationalisation” of the conflict.
07:30 GMT – Fresh fighting erupts between Azeris, ethnic Armenians
Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces fought new clashes in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan said the city of Ganja was shelled by Armenian forces and that one civilian had been killed in the Goranboy region. It said other villages were fired on by ethnic Armenian forces.
❗️Late night and morning shelling of civilian settlements in Ganja, Barda, Aghjabadi, Aghdam, Tartar, and Goranboy by #Armenia‘s occupation forces. Casualties reported. #StopArmenianAggression#StopAttackingCivilians#KarabakhIsAzerbaijan
— MFA Azerbaijan 🇦🇿 (@AzerbaijanMFA) October 8, 2020
Azeri authorities have reported 30 civilian deaths since fighting broke out on September 27 over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave which under international law belongs to Azerbaijan but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
Azerbaijan also says 143 civilians have been wounded but has not disclosed information about its military casualties.
07:20 GMT – Nagorno-Karabakh says death toll among its military rises to 350 since start of conflict
The defence ministry of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, run by ethnic Armenians, said it had recorded another 30 casualties among its troops, pushing the military death toll to 350 since fighting with Azeri forces erupted on September 27.
The fighting has surged to its worst level since the 1990s when some 30,000 people were killed.
Good morning. Shereena Qazi in Doha and Anealla Safdar in London will be bringing you the latest updates on the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis today, Thursday, October 8.
Here’s a quick recap:
Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh has continued for a second week (we are now on day 12 of the clashes) as Armenia and Azerbaijan battle over the breakaway region.
So far, the two rivals are ignoring international appeals for a ceasefire and have accused one another of causing civilian and military casualties since clashing on September 27.
Almost 300 people have been reported killed overall, but the real death toll is believed to be higher.
The key news on Thursday, so far at least, is that France, Russia and the US will hold talks in Geneva aimed at de-escalating the situation.
More on that later.