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Armenian military barracks fire kills 15

A military facility in the hamlet of Azat, in the eastern Armenian province of Gegharkunik, caught fire, leaving at least 15 men dead and three injured.

The fire that started in the barracks of an engineer and sniper company of a military unit resulted in the deaths of 15 personnel, according to preliminary data, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Thursday. The three injured men’s condition was further described as critical.

The fire started on Thursday at 1:30am (9.30 GMT) “under circumstances that have not yet been identified,” the ministry said.

in August of last year, a blast that occurred, which left at least 16 dead and approximately 60 wounded, before the current tragedy. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, the explosion tore through a warehouse in a market.

In 2020, Azerbaijan and Armenia were at war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area, and Azat is located close to their border. Despite being inhabited and administered by its majority of ethnic Armenians, the area is recognised internationally as belonging to Azerbaijan.

A ceasefire negotiated by Russia brought an end to the six-week fighting, which claimed at least 6,500 lives. A political crisis was caused when Armenia gave up a section of land it had long held.

Border conflicts continue even when the widespread combat has ended. Dozens of Armenian troops are reported to have died in September of last year.

The single route connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, the Lachin Corridor, has seen a recent uptick in tensions between the two former Soviet republics as a result of protests by Azerbaijani citizens who claim to be environmental activists. According to Yerevan, the action is a blockade supported by the Azerbaijani government.

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