Armenians and Azerbaijanis clash in Moscow

Moscow police said Saturday they have detained over 30 people on charges of involvement in fights and disturbances. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 July 2020

Armenians and Azerbaijanis clash in Moscow

  • The clashes between members of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Russian capital follow an outbreak of hostilities on the border between the two South Caucasus neighbors earlier this month
  • In a series of clashes across Moscow that followed, Armenians and Azerbaijanis engaged in fights and attacked each other’s shops and restaurants

MOSCOW: Azerbaijanis and Armenians have engaged in a series of fights and violent rampages in Moscow, venting their anger over recent cross-border clashes between the two ex-Soviet nations.
Moscow police said Saturday they have detained over 30 people on charges of involvement in fights and disturbances. In St. Petersburg, police detained dozens Saturday in a bid to prevent another big fight between Azerbaijanis and Armenians.
The clashes between members of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Russian capital follow an outbreak of hostilities on the border between the two South Caucasus neighbors earlier this month. Several days of cross-border shelling left about 20 people dead.
Russian news reports said the spate of violent incidents began when groups of Azerbaijanis beat up Armenians in Moscow early Friday and later assailed Armenian-owned stores.
In a series of clashes across Moscow that followed, Armenians and Azerbaijanis engaged in fights and attacked each other’s shops and restaurants.
Calls for restraint from Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats and other officials didn’t seem to have any effect and the brawls have continued.
Armenians’ Union in Russia said that officials from Russia’s Federal Security Service, the top KGB successor agency, held a meeting Friday with representatives of the Armenian community to discuss the violent clashes and promised that the instigators of violence would be punished.
The two Caucasus neighbors have been locked for decades in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. International efforts to settle the conflict have stalled, and clashes have been frequent.
Russia has maintained close ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and has been part of the so-called Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe alongside the US and France, which has tried to mediate a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


Thousands killed in Ethiopia’s conflict, Tigray side asserts

Updated 53 min 47 sec ago

Thousands killed in Ethiopia’s conflict, Tigray side asserts

  • Ethiopian forces over the weekend announced they had “full control” of the Tigray capital, Mekele, a city of a half-million people

NAIROBI, Kenya: Several thousand combatants have been killed in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region, an official with the fugitive regional government has asserted, although claims remain difficult to verify a month after the fighting erupted between Ethiopian and regional forces.
Getachew Reda, a senior adviser to the Tigray leader, in an interview with Tigray TV aired Thursday urged young people and others in the region to “rise and deploy to battle in tens of thousands” days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over the weekend declared victory.
With the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the run in rugged territory, fears of a drawn-out conflict continue. But with communications and transport links still largely severed to the region of 6 million people, it’s difficult to know the situation on the ground, including the extent of popular support for the TPLF and the number of people killed.
“Our capacity to resist ultimately depends on the support we get from our people,” Getachew said. “It is possible to have the scenario where we stop everything and turn all the people into soldiers.”
He didn’t say how many people are actively fighting but said “our army is doing amazing things with limited numbers,” and he claimed there had been tens of thousands of deaths among Ethiopian forces and those from neighboring Eritrea, which the TPLF insists is also involved. Ethiopia’s government denies that.
Getachew also acknowledged casualties on the TPLF side but didn’t say how many.
Ethiopian forces over the weekend announced they had “full control” of the Tigray capital, Mekele, a city of a half-million people. Getachew said their side had made a “strategic withdrawal” from the city to minimize destruction.
It is not clear how many people were killed as Ethiopian forces moved in on Mekele, but the International Committee of the Red Cross over the weekend said the city’s largest hospital had run out of body bags and staff suspended other services to focus on the wounded.
Ethiopian government spokesman Redwan Hussein didn’t immediately respond to a question about the current estimated death toll in the conflict.