Life goes on amid conflict

PHOTO: REUTERS

A gaggle of geese taking a ride to Ganja, the second-largest city in Azerbaijan, on Wednesday - a seemingly normal picture of daily life even as conflict raged on in the nearby Nagorno-Karabakh region.

There has been almost a month of fighting and bloodshed over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory which is inside Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Hundreds of people have been killed since fighting flared on Sept 27, raising fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey and Russia, and increasing concerns about the security of pipelines in Azerbaijan that carry Azeri gas and oil through the South Caucasus to world markets, Reuters reported.

Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces continued to clash yesterday, hours before talks were due to start in Washington. United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet the foreign ministers of both countries in a new attempt to end the deadliest fighting for over a quarter of a century.