Azerbaijani forces have violated the ceasefire in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh 40 times on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday, the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s (NKR) Defense Ministry said.

The Azerbaijani side earlier accused NKR forces of 118 violations.

“Early on March 12 and on March 11, the Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire agreement 40 times, firing over 500 shots from weapons of varying caliber at Armenian positions. On the eastern and the northeastern stretches of the line of contact, the Azerbaijani side used 60-milimeter mortars,” the ministry said in a statement.

The violence in Nagorno-Karabakh flared up on April 2 last year. Baku and Yerevan accused each other of provoking hostilities that led to multiple deaths on each side. The sides agreed to a ceasefire on April 5, but clashes have continued.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988, when the autonomous region sought to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, before proclaiming independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The warring sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities in 1994.

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