The monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had to suspend its activities last week because of an as-yet unexplained shooting:
Following the usual exchange of security guarantees by local commanders on both sides of the Line of Contact, members of both OSCE teams heard shooting as they approached their observation points. It was not possible to determine from where the shots were fired. Safety and security concerns prompted the Personal Representative to abandon the exercise.
Naturally, both sides blamed the other. Azerbaijan's APA reported:
The Armenians violated ceasefire while the contact line was being monitored by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Eldar Sabiroghlu told APA that today the Armenian Army units violated ceasefire..
A planned monitoring of the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan to be conducted by the OSCE Mission in the Hadrut direction, scheduled for October 17, was stopped because of the submachine gun shots from the Azerbaijani side towards the positions of the NKR Defense Army.
OSCE press officer Tatyana Baeva tells The Bug Pit that this is the first such incident since February 2009. She added that the OSCE doesn't have a mandate to investigate who fired the shots, but that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed in 2011 "to try to investigate possible incidents with the participation of the sides, under the aegis of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and with the support of the Personal Representative," She added: "This agreement has yet to be implemented" and that "the Co-Chairs and Personal Representative can and do encourage the sides to investigate such incidents thoroughly and impartially themselves." Of course, if Armenia and Azerbaijan are known for anything it's impartiality on Karabakh. Anyway, given the recent heightened tension between the two countries, the line of contact probably can use as much monitoring as it can get.