Azerbaijan on Sunday postponed taking control of a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement, but denounced civilians leaving the area for burning houses and committing what it called “ecological terror.”
Villagers in Nagorno-Karabakh set their houses on fire on Saturday before fleeing to Armenia ahead of a weekend deadline that will see parts of the territory handed over to Azerbaijan as part of a peace agreement.
The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met international mediators in Geneva on Friday in the latest round of talks to resolve conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, where hundreds have been killed in more than a month of fighting.
Azerbaijan accused Armenia of killing 21 people and wounding dozens in a missile strike near Nagorno-Karabakh on Oct. 28, the deadliest reported attack on civilians in a month of fighting over the disputed region.
Fighting over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh raged on Tuesday, unimpeded by a U.S.-brokered cease-fire, while Armenia and Azerbaijan traded blame for the deal’s quick unraveling.