Armenia and Azerbaijan said heavy fighting continues in their conflict over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said on Twitter that the army had seized eight villages under its control.
Baku said the Azerbaijani army now controls 45 sites in Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenian army initially denied.
Nagorno-Karabakh authorities report that since the start of the fighting on September 27, the number of civilian casualties has risen to 31 and the number of soldiers has fallen to 525.
Azerbaijan does not reveal how many soldiers have fallen on its side but has announced that 43 civilians have died.
Fighting broke out on 27 September in the region, which is located within Azerbaijan and under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces. It is some of the worst in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas since the end of a war in 1994.
Vahram Poghosyan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh's president, claimed Saturday on Facebook that intelligence data showed some 3,000 Azerbaijanis have died in the fighting. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Ovannisian said later that 2,300 Azerbaijan troops were killed, about 400 of them in the last day.
With Azerbaijan not commenting on troop casualties, the statements could not be verified.
Nagorno-Karabakh was a designated autonomous region within Azerbaijan during the Soviet era. It claimed independence from Azerbaijan in 1991, about three months before the Soviet Union's collapse. A full-scale war that broke out in 1992 killed an estimated 30,000 people.
One reason behind the current fighting is that “the mediators do not insist or exert pressure to start implementing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” he said.
“We have no time to wait another 30 years. The conflict must be resolved now.” Aliyev said.
Armenia has repeatedly claimed over the past week that Turkey sent Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan and that the Turkish military is aiding Azerbaijan's.
“Turkey and Azerbaijan are pursuing not only military-political goals," Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said Saturday in an address to his nation. “Their goal is Armenia, their goal is the continuation of the genocide of Armenians.”
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry released a statement alleging that thousands of ethnic Armenians from abroad were being deployed or recruited to fight for Armenia.