Two journalists from World were injured by a bombardment in Nagorno-Karabakh on the morning of Thursday 1er October, on the fifth day of violent clashes taking place in the breakaway Azerbaijani territory supported by Armenia. They were in the town of Martuni, where they had arrived to cover the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Several journalists, including a team from Agence France-Presse (AFP), who were not injured, accompanied them. According to the Armenian authorities, two Armenian journalists were also injured. At least one policeman died in the bombing, according to the still partial information we have.
The Armenian foreign ministry accused Azerbaijan of the strike.
Urgent❗️: 2 reporters (citizens of #France) from @lemondefr got injured in #Martuni region of #Artsakh from… https://t.co/16P0wE0LiH
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on his arrival in Brussels for a European Council that France was preparing a plane to repatriate the two journalists from the World. “The Quai D’Orsay crisis center is mobilized as well as all of our capacities to be able to organize their repatriation as quickly as possible. A medical plane is ready to go. We are doing everything to stabilize the wounded on the spot before allowing their evacuation ”, did he declare.
Fifth day of clashes
Armenians and Azerbaijanis have remained deaf to further calls for a truce, exchanging gunfire across the front line all night from Wednesday to Thursday. Stepanakert, the capital of this self-proclaimed republic, remained in the dark to make himself as invisible as possible to the Azerbaijani drones that had struck the city on Sunday. Located about twenty kilometers from the fighting, two explosions sounded there during the night from Wednesday to Thursday.
On the eve of a fifth day of clashes, neither side seemed to have gained a decisive advantage over the other. However, Azerbaijani forces have been saying for several days that they have taken Armenian positions that have been held for nearly thirty years.
The largely Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh seceded from Azerbaijan, leading to a war in the early 1990s that claimed 30,000 lives. The front has been almost frozen since then, despite regular clashes, especially in 2016.
Putin, Macron and Trump together call for an immediate ceasefire
Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump called Thursday in a joint statement to “The immediate cessation of hostilities” in Nagorno-Karabakh, said the Elysee. The United States, Russia and France co-chair the Minsk Group, a body created in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and tasked with finding the conditions for a just and lasting peace.
The three presidents also call “The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to undertake without delay to resume substantive negotiations” under the aegis of the OSCE. The main mediator in this conflict, the Minsk Group has never succeeded since the 1990s in putting an end to the clashes along the front line.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the escalation of recent violence on the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone”, add the leaders of the three countries, who are thus coordinating their diplomatic efforts to end the conflict after having each expressed themselves in this direction in recent days, in dispersed order.
Arriving Thursday in Brussels, the French president revealed that he “Available[ait] information today with certainty that Syrian fighters from jihadist groups left the theater of operations through Gaziantep [en Turquie] to reach this Nagorno-Karabakh theater of operations “. “This is a very serious, new, game-changing fact”, he added.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is Azerbaijan’s main ally and which is camping in its positions, said Thursday that a ceasefire entailed the withdrawal of Armenian forces from this separatist enclave.