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Armenia, Separatists Warn Azerbaijan Over Missile Strike

Armenia and the separatists who control Nagorno-Karabakh have warned that a missile strike by Azerbaijani armed forces targeting an air defense missile system in the breakaway region "will not remain unanswered."

Spokesmen for the Armenian Defense Ministry and the self-described defense ministry of the breakaway region issued the warning on May 15 in identical messages posted on their Facebook accounts.

They said the missile system was damaged in the strike, which they described as a "provocation," and denied there had been fatalities.

Earlier, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said its forces had destroyed an Osa air defense system along with its crew, adding that its deployment near the line of control was a "provocation" and a threat to Azerbaijani aircraft.

Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan, but Armenia-backed separatists seized control of the mainly ethnic-Armenian populated region during the early 1990s in a war that killed some 30,000 people. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict during the last 25 years have brought little progress.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani and Armenian Services