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Iran issues warning over stray fire from Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict curfew in Baku, Azerbaijan (Ministry of Internal Affairs/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a fresh warning to Armenia and Azerbaijan after stray fire from their conflict over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region reportedly wounded one person on the Iranian side of the border.

“If there is any repetition of such fire, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not remain indifferent,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzadeh tweeted on October 16, without elaborating.

Ten rockets hit two villages in the county of Khoda Afarin in Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province, destroying a building and wounding one person, the official IRNA news agency quoted a local official as saying.

Khoda Afarin borders territory controlled by ethnic Armenian authorities in Azerbaijan adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but governed and populated by ethnic Armenians since a 1994 cease-fire brought an end to the separatist war that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed.

Fighting has continued between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in and around the territory since September 27 despite international calls for a cease fire.

Rockets and mortar rounds have repeatedly strayed across the border, prompting Khatibzadeh to warn on October 12 that “any intrusion upon our country’s territory by either side of the conflict is intolerable.”