clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


Rockets struck villages in Nagorno-Karabakh Saturday, reports said, shattering the latest cease-fire in the disputed Caucasus region.

An Azerbaijani parliamentary leader, meanwhile, said his country was girding for a new Armenian offensive.The renewed fighting came as United Nations envoy Cyrus Vance prepared to travel to Nagorno-Karabakh to try to mediate a truce in the mostly Armenian enclave controlled by Azerbaijan.

More than 1,000 people have died in four years of fighting over the enclave.

In another peace effort, the 46-nation Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe agreed Saturday to send a mission to the region. Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier will lead the mission, said delegate Ivan Busniak.

Also, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati hosted talks Saturday in Tehran between the two sides, according to Iranian reports. It was unclear how long talks would continue in Tehran.

"We will witness a cease-fire in the region in a near future," Velayati said, according to official Iranian media. "The ground for a just end to the dispute is being prepared."

The former Soviet republics of Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as Turkey, France and Britain, have all tried unsuccessfully to stop the Armenian-Azerbaijani fighting.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan said there had been occasional shooting by both sides since a cease-fire was announced Friday.

A rocket fired by Azerbaijani forces struck the parliament building in Nagorno-Karabakh's capital of Stepanakert Saturday, killing a militiaman, said Armen Isagulov, the region's interior minister.

Villages surrounding Stepanakert also were shelled, he said.