German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for an “immediate” end to the fighting in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh in phone calls with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, her spokesman said.

“The chancellor urgently called for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table,” Steffen Seibert said.

Merkel spoke with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday and with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, he added.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said that 10 Azeri civilians had been killed since fighting with Armenian forces began on Sunday over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Interfax news agency reported.

Armenian and Azeri forces have accused each other of firing at border positions and civilian settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, in some of the worst fighting since the 1990s.

Fierce fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia has escalated further, killing at least 26 more soldiers in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh with fears that clashes could turn into a full-scale war. pic.twitter.com/wNwS9Emp6z

Azeri state energy company SOCAR has said that the country’s oil infrastructure was being guarded by the army amid fighting with ethnic Armenian forces over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Interfax news agency reported.

Azeri armed forces opened fire on an Armenian military unit in the border town of Vardenis, and miles away from the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region which has been the focus of clashes in the past few days, the Armenian defence ministry said.

A civilian bus caught fire after being hit by an Azeri unmanned drone, it said in a statement.

Separately, Armenia denied an earlier report by Azerbaijan’s defence ministry that the Armenian army had shelled the Dashkesan region on the border between the two countries

Armenian and Azeri forces have deployed heavy artillery in the latest fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, both sides said.

The Azeri defence ministry said the opposing forces attempted to recover lost ground by launching counter-attacks towards Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Agdere and Terter and that there was fighting around Fizuli city on Tuesday morning and the Armenian army shelled the Dashkesan region on the border between the two countries, miles away from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia denied shelling Dashkesan, but reported fighting throughout the night and said that Nagorno-Karabakh’s army repelled attacks from several directions along the line of contact.

It also said it had recovered some lost territory on Sunday, but its leader later said neither the Azeri army nor the Armenian military captured any tactical positions during the fighting on Monday.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned Armenia’s “aggression” against Azerbaijan and called for a political solution to the conflict between the two countries.

Renewing its solidarity with Azerbaijan, the organisation said it was deeply concerned and was monitoring several of Armenia’s attacks on its eastern neighbour and “violating the ceasefire and leaving behind civilian casualties”.

“It [OIC] calls for the full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied Azeri territories and for dialogue to reach a political solution to the conflict between the two countries based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders,” the OIC statement said.

Fiercest fighting in more than a quarter of a century rages in Azerbaijan’s ethnic Armenian enclave, killing dozens.

Human suffering in the conflict is being obscured by Azerbaijani and Armenian officials monopolising the message.

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News – Nagorno-Karabakh battles continue for a third day: Live news