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Heavy fighting has broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan. There is a danger the fighting could lead to a bigger conflict between the two countries. Their trouble is over a region that is on their border called Nagorno-Karabakh. This is a disputed territory. It is internationally recognized as being part of Azerbaijan but it has a majority Armenian ethnic population. It has governed itself for the past few decades. The recent clashes resulted in the deaths of both civilians and soldiers. Armenia blamed Azerbaijan for starting the recent conflict. It said Azerbaijan launched missiles into the region. Azerbaijan's defence ministry said it launched missiles to "ensure the safety of the population" in the region.
There have been tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. There have been many flashpoints between the two countries. The current clashes have seen the worst fighting in many years. An Al Jazeera journalist who is an expert on Nagorno-Karabakh described the situation as, "a very serious escalation". Neighboring countries are now getting involved. Turkey's President said his country would support Azerbaijan. Russia has given its backing to Armenia, but called for an immediate ceasefire and urgent negotiations. Iran, which shares a border with both Azerbaijan and Armenia, has offered to arrange peace talks.Comprehension questions
- What kind of fighting did the article say had broken out?
- What is the major ethnicity of people in Nagorno-Karabakh?
- Who else did the article say had died, besides soldiers?
- Who blamed Azerbaijan for starting the conflict?
- What did Azerbaijan say it had launched?
- When did the Nagorno-Karabakh War end?
- Where does the expert on Nagorno-Karabakh work?
- What did the expert describe the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as?
- Which country said it would support Azerbaijan?
- Who offered to arrange peace talks?
Back to the Nagorno-Karabakh lesson.