More shelling hits Armenian-Azeri conflict

The month-long conflict waging between Azerbaijan and Armenia saw each side accuse the other of killing civilians by shelling cities in and around region of Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday. The fighting over the mountain enclave has defied three ceasefires now and mediation by world powers including France, Russia, and the United States. Azerbaijan said 14 people were killed when Armenian shells hit the town of Barda. Armenian-backed officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said Azeri shells had fallen on the enclave's two largest cities, killing one person. Both sides denied each other's claims. The worst fighting in the South Caucasus for nearly 30 years has raised fears of a wider war that could suck in Russia and Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan. It also poses a threat to pipelines carrying oil and gas from Azerbaijan to world markets. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians. Azerbaijan rejects any solution that would leave Armenians in control of the enclave, which it considers to be illegally occupied. Armenia regards the territory as part of its historic homeland and says the population there needs its protection.