Two French journalists hurt in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

A resident standing near a house that was reportedly damaged during shelling by Azeri forces, in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, on Oct 1, 2020. PHOTO: X80002

PARIS (AFP) - A reporter and photographer working for the French daily Le Monde have been wounded in fighting in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the newspaper told AFP on Thursday (Oct 1).

News editor Luc Bronner confirmed that two of its journalists had been hurt after the Armenian Foreign Ministry said that they had been hit in a bombardment by Azerbaijan forces.

"Two French reporters from Le Monde were hurt at Martuni in the Artsakh region... they had been taken to hospital," the ministry tweeted.

Two Armenian journalists were also hurt in the shelling, according to Armenian authorities.

Several journalists, including a team from AFP, were interviewing residents in Martuni and assessing damage from previous bombardments when the shelling started. No one in the AFP team was hurt.

Heavy fighting has been raging for four days after the long-running conflict over the region between Armenia and Azerbaijan reignited.

The death toll has been rising rapidly, with both sides reporting civilian casualties.

Armenia has recorded 104 military deaths and 23 civilians killed.

Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said its forces have killed 2,300 Karabakh separatist troops and "destroyed 130 tanks, 200 artillery units, 25 anti-aircraft units, five ammunition depots, 50 anti-tank units and 55 military vehicles".

Armenia claimed that Azerbaijan had lost 130 troops while another 200 were wounded.

"Armenian armed forces destroyed 29 tanks and armoured vehicles," a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

The majority ethnic Armenian breakaway region declared independence from Azerbaijan after the fall of the Iron Curtain which sparked a war in the early 1990s that claimed 30,000 lives.

But it is still not recognised as independent by any country, including Armenia.

Talks to resolve the conflict have largely stalled since a 1994 ceasefire agreement.

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