Heavy shelling and civilian casualties dash hopes for Russian-backed ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan with at least seven dead and 33 wounded amid escalating violence | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Heavy shelling and civilian casualties dash hopes for Russian-backed ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan with at least seven dead and 33 wounded amid escalating violence

Hopes that a Russian-brokered ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan might hold were further dashed Sunday, with both sides accusing the other of intense shelling on civilian areas and escalating two weeks of fierce clashes.

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said that overnight shelling by Armenian forces on the country's second largest city, Ganja, had left seven people dead and 33 wounded including children, less than 24 hours after the halt to fighting was supposed to take effect.

Rescuers in red helmets dug through piles of debris with their bare hands in search of signs of survivors, an AFP journalist in the city reported.

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