(FILES) This file photo taken on November 14, 2014 shows Armenian and Karabakh armed forces holding joint military exercises at a training ground near the town of Tigranakert in the unrecognized Republic of Karabakh. AFP / KAREN MINASYAN
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Fierce clashes left at least 30 Azerbaijani and Armenian soldiers dead Saturday as Russia and the West urged an immediate ceasefire after a major escalation in violence over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region.Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said 18 Armenian troops were killed and some 35 wounded in the "largest-scale hostilities" since a 1994 truce ended a war that saw Armenian-backed fighters seize the territory from Azerbaijan. Sarkisian did not specify if the troops were from the forces of unrecognised Karabakh -- which claims independence but is backed by Yerevan -- or Armenia's army. Earlier Azerbaijan's defence ministry said that 12 of its soldiers were killed in the clashes and a military helicopter shot down. The last big flare-up occurred in November 2014 when Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian military helicopter.
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