Hundreds march in Fresno streets to protest Azerbaijan, Turkish conflict with Armenia

The fighting erupted Sept. 27 and has killed dozens, marking the biggest escalation in the decades-old conflict over the region
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of people gathered for a march in northeast Fresno on Sunday night as a week-long conflict continues to escalate between Turkey, Azerbajani and Armenia.

"We're gathered here in protest of Turkish and Azerbajani aggression and fullscale war that is being waged right now on the nation of Armenia," said Fresno protestor Gevork Aristakesyan.

The demonstrators waved flags and held signs with messages.

At one point, they blocked traffic near Blackstone and Nees Avenues, but police say they moved out of the street after speaking with officers.

The local group said Turkey should be removed from NATO for acts of violence toward Armenia, while the Turkish-supported Azerbaijan is accusing Armenian forces of firing rockets at its second-largest city.

The fighting erupted Sept. 27 and has killed dozens, marking the biggest escalation in the decades-old conflict over the region. Both sides have accused each other of expanding the hostilities beyond the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.

Nagorno-Karabakh officials have said nearly 200 servicemen on their side have died in the clashes so far. Eighteen civilians have been killed and more than 90 others wounded. Azerbaijani authorities haven't given details about their military casualties, but said 24 civilians were killed and 124 others were wounded.

The escalation of violence in the region prompted calls for a cease-fire from around the globe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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