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Women embrace as they examine the ruins of a residential house destroyed in a shelling attack in Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo: Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other overnight of breaching the ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Details: An Armenia Defense Ministry spokesperson said late Saturday Azerbaijan was "violating the humanitarian ceasefire" by firing artillery shells and rockets. Hours later, the Azeri defence ministry said Armenia had fired "mortars and artillery" at "the vicinity of the Jabrail city, as well as the villages of this region," per Reuters.

The big picture: Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of civilians have been killed since the recent fighting began in late September.

  • The recent violence is the worst the region has seen in years, and began with coordinated air and missile attacks late last month from Azerbaijan, which claimed Armenian forces had been preparing an attack (Armenia denies that).

The backstory: Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region of around 150,000 people that is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians but lies within the borders of Azerbaijan.

  • The countries have both claimed the territory since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fought a war over it from 1992-1994, and stood on the precipice of further conflict since.
  • Previous skirmishes, though numerous, have left the stalemate largely unaltered. So has a peace process overseen by the U.S., France and Russia.

Go deeper: Armenian Americans rally in U.S. as Nagorno-Karabakh truce frays

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the spokesperson's comments.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Oct 26, 2020 - World

U.S.-brokered ceasefire collapses in Nagorno-Karabakh

Volunteer fighters in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S.-brokered ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh crumbled within hours on Monday, leaving the month-old war rumbling on.

Why it matters: Nearly 5,000 people have been killed, according to Vladimir Putin’s rough estimate, including more than 100 civilians. Between 70,000 and 100,000 more are believed to have fled the fighting.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

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