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Azerbaijan downs helicopter in Nagorno-Karabakh

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — The armed forces of Azerbaijan shot down and destroyed an Armenian military helicopter in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Wednesday, the defense ministries of both countries said.

The incident threatened to set off another cycle of violence between the two South Caucasus neighbors over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but along with some surrounding territory has been under the control of Armenian soldiers and local Armenian forces since a 1994 cease-fire.

“This is an unprecedented escalation, and the consequences for the Azerbaijani side will be painful,” Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Ovannisian told The Associated Press.

Azerbaijan said its forces shot down the Russian-made Mi-24 helicopter gunship after it tried to attack its positions.

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