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Clashes erupt as pro-Armenian protesters rally outside Azerbaijani embassy in Beirut

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« At least 20 protesters were reportedly injured on Thursday in Lebanon after clashes with police during protests against genocide and ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Footage features dozens of protesters burning flares, holding placards as well as throwing stones at police. Riot police officers can be seen using water cannons and tear gas to disperse rally participants.
The protest took place outside the Azerbaijani embassy at the call of the Tashnag party. Pro-Armenian activists demanded an end of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
« This demonstration is against the Azerbaijani embassy and to tell the world that Azerbaijan is a usurping state that occupied Armenian lands and committed the crime of genocide in every sense of the word according to international law, including killing people, ethnic cleansing and displacement after a ten-month siege of the peaceful population of 120,000 Armenians in the independent Republic of Karabakh, » Hagop Pakradounian, Leader of Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Lebanon, said.
The year-long conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on Tuesday, September 19, with the beginning of Azerbaijan’s counter-terrorist operation in the region. On the same day, Moscow called on the parties to the conflict to declare a ceasefire and start negotiations.
Azerbaijan accused Armenia of ‘systematic shelling of its army positions’ and announced ‘anti-terrorist measures of a local nature’ in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry stated that the only way to achieve peace in the region was ‘unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and dissolution of the so-called regime’.
For his part, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed that there were no Armenian Armed Forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Armenian Foreign Ministry called the events a ‘large-scale aggression’.
On Wednesday, the Defence Ministry of the self-proclaimed NKR said that its authorities had decided to lay down arms for a ceasefire from 13:00 local time (09:00 GMT). Baku also announced the suspension of its ‘anti-terrorist measures’.
Nagorno-Karabakh – formerly an autonomous region of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic, with a predominantly ethnic Armenian population – broke away from Azerbaijan in the final years of the USSR, establishing a self-proclaimed, independent but internationally unrecognised entity.
Baku claims sovereignty over the territory, and after a major war in 2020 regained control over large parts of the region. In May 2023, the Yerevan government recognised Azerbaijan’s claim to the territory but also called for protection for the region’s ethnic Armenians. »

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