Nagorno-Karabakh says 16 servicemen killed, 100 wounded in Azeri clashes

YEREVAN (Reuters) - The breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus said on Sunday 16 of its servicemen had been killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes with Azeri forces.

Azerbaijan reported that 19 civilians had been wounded in the clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region which is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians.

The long-running conflict worries Western and regional countries in part because it could cause instability in the South Caucasus, which serves as a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on the international community to ensure Turkey, which traditionally supports Azerbaijan, does not involve itself in the conflict.

Turkey sharply criticised Armenia over the new clashes, saying Yerevan was an obstacle to peace and vowing to continue its support for Baku.

Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin and Margarita Antidze; Editing by Catherine Evans and Timothy Heritage