More than 200 killed in Armenia-Azerbaijan border clashes - officials

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses parliament following an escalation in hostilities over the Nagorno-Karabakh region along the border of Armenia with Azerbaijan, in Yerevan, Armenia, September 13, 2022. Tigran Mehrabyan/PAN Photo via REUTERS/File Photo

Sept 16 (Reuters) - More than 200 service personnel were killed in border clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan this week, according to new figures from both countries on Friday.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan blame each other for the fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region - the deadliest clashes between them since a six-week war in 2020 left thousands dead.

Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said 135 Armenian personnel were killed, the Interfax news agency reported from a session of Armenia's parliament, up from a tally earlier this week of 105.

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Azerbaijan said 77 of its personnel had died - up from Thursday's tally of 71. Both countries had said the figures would likely rise.

The two sides have fought for decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but, until a war in 2020, populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians

Armenia says Azerbaijan's forces this week attacked and seized settlements inside Armenia, beyond Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan says it was responding to "provocations" by the Armenian side.

A ceasefire, brokered by Moscow, ended the latest fighting late Wednesday night, but the situation on the border remains tense, Pashinyan said on Friday.

Russia, a military ally of Armenia which also strives for friendly relations with Azerbaijan, said it would pressure both countries to pull their forces back to where they were before this week's conflict broke out.

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Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Andrew Heavens

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