The Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan says its forces have shot down an Armenian military helicopter in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The ministry said the helicopter gunship was shot down Wednesday afternoon after it tried to attack Azerbaijani positions.

Nagorno-Karabakh said the helicopter belonged to its armed forces and was on a training flight.

There was no immediate word on the fate of the pilots in the Russian-made Mi-24 helicopter.

Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, but it and some surrounding territory have been under the control of Armenian soldiers and local Armenian forces since a 1994 cease-fire. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, but last summer tensions rose sharply as 19 soldiers were killed in multiple confrontations.


Associated Press writer Avet Demourian in Yerevan, Armenia, contributed.