Renewed Violence, More Strikes Shatter Calm in Soviet Enclave

From Associated Press

Renewed ethnic violence and more strikes have been reported in the disputed southern Soviet region of Nagorno-Karabakh, prompting authorities to tighten security in the Armenian enclave inside Soviet Azerbaijan.

At least seven people have been injured since Friday in violence that shattered a four-month calm, Tass reported late Tuesday.

The official news agency seemed to leave open the possibility of more unrest, saying the situation remained "tense and complex" and that calls were growing louder for an extended general strike and civil disobedience campaign.

Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh said by telephone Saturday that they had started new strikes.

Military and civilian officials increased surveillance on roads, lengthened a curfew and posted soldiers between Armenian and Azerbaijani neighborhoods, Tass reported.

Three-fourths of Nagorno-Karabakh's 162,000 people are ethnic Armenians, mostly Christian, but it has been an enclave in mainly Muslim Azerbaijan since 1923. More than 90 people were killed in Armenia and Azerbaijan last year in ethnic strife. In January, the Kremlin put the enclave under Moscow's direct control in an attempt to halt the bloodshed.

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