Armenia announces Azerbaijan ceasefire

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A ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan has come into effect, according to the secretary of the Armenian Security Council, Armen Grigoryan.

"An agreement on a ceasefire has been reached with the participation of the international community," Grigoryan told Armenian television, adding the agreement had gone into effect at 8pm on Wednesday (2am Thursday AEST).

There was no confirmation of the ceasefire from Azerbaijan, though the Armenian Defence Ministry did confirm the shelling had died down.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the country's parliament more than 100 Armenians had been killed in fighting between the two countries since Monday night, and that 50 square kilometres of Armenian territory had been seized by Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan reported the death of 54 of it troops.

Despite the ceasefire, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan to demand Pashinyan's resignation on Wednesday evening, accusing him of being soft on Baku.

Armenia has requested assistance from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) over the attack.

However, with Moscow preoccupied with its war in Ukraine, the CSTO agreed only to send a fact-finding mission to the region, which is due to arrive on Thursday.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have for decades been locked in a dispute over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has historically had a majority Armenian population, but was legally part of Azerbaijan under Soviet rule.

However, the flare-up in fighting this week was not centred on Nagorno-Karabakh but on locations in Armenia proper, according to sources.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia-backed Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed independence from Azerbaijan, calling itself the Republic of Artsakh and sparking a three-year war.

That ended in 1994, with Armenia victorious, and Nagorno-Karabkah was for a quarter of a century under effective Armenian control, though its status was never internationally recognised.

After decades of stalemate, Azerbaijan suddenly recaptured large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh in a 2020 military campaign, forcing Armenia to make major territorial concessions.

These included a stipulation limiting Armenian access to the region to one safe corridor monitored by Russian peacekeepers.