Azerbaijan launches military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh, urges surrender

Nagorno-Karabakh forces agree Azerbaijan demand to disarm

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Twenty-four hours after Azerbaijan’s army launched an offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, ethnic-Armenian forces have agreed Russian terms for a ceasefire.

One of the key demands that Karabakh forces have accepted is a proposal for complete disarmament.

Some 120,000 ethnic Armenians live in the South Caucasus enclave, recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan.

Three years ago, Azerbaijan recaptured areas in and around Karabakh and on Tuesday demanded a full surrender.

Karabakh officials say at least 27 people have been killed and another 200 wounded since the Azerbaijani military launched what it called “anti-terror” operations.

Azerbaijan’s presidency said officials would meet Karabakh’s Armenian representatives in the Azerbaijani town of Yevlakh later on Wednesday.

The town is some 100km (60 miles) north of Karabakh’s regional capital, Khankendi, known as Stepanakert by Armenians.

Leaders in the enclave said in a statement that through mediation carried out by Russian peacekeepers an agreement had been reached on a complete cessation of hostilities from 13:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

However, loud explosions could still be heard in the regional capital just after the ceasefire came into effect.

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