EU Armenia mission says no staff hurt in gunfire on Azerbaijan border

EU Armenia mission says no staff hurt in gunfire on Azerbaijan border
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The EU Mission in Armenia said none of its members were harmed after one of its patrols came under fire on the border with Azerbaijan.
The EU Mission in Armenia said: 'No EUMA member was harmed' [KAREN MINASYAN/AFP/Getty-file photo]

The European Union's border monitoring mission in Armenia said on Tuesday one of its patrols had come under fire on the volatile border with Azerbaijan, which denied responsibility for the incident.

"No EUMA member was harmed," the EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) said on social media, confirming its personnel were "present to the shooting incident in our area of responsibility".

The statement came after Armenia said Azerbaijan's military had opened fire on the observers monitoring the border between the two countries, where tensions have been spiralling.

Yerevan's defence ministry said the shooting took place as the EU observers patrolled the small village of Verin Shorzha, about four miles (six kilometres) from the Azeri border. It also reported no casualties.

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Azerbaijan said the claims amounted to disinformation and that Baku is warned in advance of the patrols.

The EU, which launched its border monitoring mission earlier this year, has taken on a broader mediation role between the two countries, as they deal with disputes over the mountainous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Tensions between Baku and Yerevan have escalated sharply in recent days, as both sides accuse the other of cross-border gunfire and violating agreements.