Europe

Cease-fire holding around Nagorno-Karabakh

  • Nagorno-Karabakh army artillerymen prepare to open fire from a howitzer on positions in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Azerbaijan forces and separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed on a cease-fire Tuesday following three days of the heaviest fighting in the region since 1994, the Azeri defense ministry announced. (Vahan Stepanyan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Nagorno-Karabakh army artillerymen prepare to open fire from a howitzer on positions in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Azerbaijan forces and separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed on a cease-fire Tuesday following three days of the heaviest fighting in the region since 1994, the Azeri defense ministry announced. (Vahan Stepanyan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Karabakh Armenian soldiers stand near a howitzer in Hadrut province in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Azerbaijan forces and separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed on a cease-fire Tuesday following three days of the heaviest fighting in the region since 1994, the Azeri defense ministry announced. (Albert Khachatryan/Photolure via AP)

    Karabakh Armenian soldiers stand near a howitzer in Hadrut province in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Azerbaijan forces and separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed on a cease-fire Tuesday following three days of the heaviest fighting in the region since 1994, the Azeri defense ministry announced. (Albert Khachatryan/Photolure via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nagorno-Karabakh army self-propelled artillery vehicles stand on positions in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Azerbaijan forces and separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed on a cease-fire Tuesday following three days of the heaviest fighting in the region since 1994, the Azeri defense ministry announced. (Vahan Stepanyan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Nagorno-Karabakh army self-propelled artillery vehicles stand on positions in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Azerbaijan forces and separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed on a cease-fire Tuesday following three days of the heaviest fighting in the region since 1994, the Azeri defense ministry announced. (Vahan Stepanyan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry says its forces have observed a cease-fire around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan said Wednesday the cease-fire was agreed in Moscow by top military officers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The cease-fire, declared at midday Tuesday, followed three days of intense battles involving heavy artillery and rockets.

The Armenian side said Tuesday night that the cease-fire was largely holding despite what it called some sporadic Azerbaijani shelling. Azerbaijan denied the accusation.

Fighting that erupted around the region over the weekend marked the worst violence since a separatist war ended in 1994 and left Nagorno-Karabakh, officially a part of Azerbaijan, under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military. Armenian forces also occupy several areas outside the Karabakh region.