Nagorno-Karabakh: Thousands Flee as Armenia Says Ethnic Cleansing Under Way


A growing stream of ethnic Armenian refugees are fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh following Azerbaijan's seizure of the disputed region last week. 

More than 13,000 people have so far crossed into Armenia from the enclave, which is home to a majority of some 120,000 ethnic Armenians. 

Armenia's prime minister has warned that ethnic cleansing is "under way" in the region. 

Envoys from Armenia and Azerbaijan are due to meet for EU-backed talks in Brussels later on Tuesday— the first such talks since the seizure of Nagorno-Karabakh. US state department spokesman Matthew Miller urged the two sides to reach a lasting peace agreement. 

Nagorno-Karabakh—a mountainous region in the South Caucasus—is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenians for three decades. The enclave has been supported by Armenia—but also by their ally, Russia, which has had hundreds of soldiers there for years. 

Five Russian peacekeepers were killed—alongside at least 200 ethnic Armenians and dozens of Azerbaijani soldiers—as Azerbaijan's army swept in last week. 

Ethnic Armenian leaders say thousands are without food or shelter and are sleeping in basements, school buildings, or outside. 

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