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Armenia, Azerbaijan Trade Accusations for Violating Cease-fire

Church workers sweep the dust in the Holy Savior Cathedral, damaged by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Shushi, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The heavy shelling forced residents…

A third cease-fire in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh seems to have collapsed Monday, again failing to end four weeks of fighting over the disputed territory.

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of violating the US-brokered truce shortly after it entered into force at 8:00 am (0400 GMT) local time.

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said in a statement that Armenian forces had shelled villages in the Terter and Lachin regions in "gross violation" of the truce.

For its part, Armenia's defense ministry used similar language, saying Azerbaijani forces had "grossly violated" the cease-fire with artillery fire along various parts of the line of contact.

The U.S. State Department and the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia announced the latest “humanitarian cease-fire” in a joint statement Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter saying: “Congratulations to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who just agreed to adhere to a cease fire effective at midnight. Many lives will be saved."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet also Sunday that the U.S. facilitated “an intensive negotiation” and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov “have committed to implement and abide by the ceasefire.”