MOSCOW -- An Azerbaijani attack plane was shot down by an Armenian missile over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, Russian and Armenian reports said Wednesday.
The SU-25 aircraft was allegedly strafing Armenian-inhabited areas of Nagorno-Karabakh when it was shot down, according to the Russian Interfax and Itar-Tass news agencies.
The plane had just completed a bombing raid, according to the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh self-defense staff.
A growing number of air raids have launched the undeclared war between Armenians and Azerbaijanis into yet another phase.
The fight over Nagorno-Karabakh in its early stages was marked by long-distance shelling between opposing forces, sometimes based in neighboring towns. Recently, land battles involving tanks, heavy artillery and troop battalions have escalated the war. Now air raids are becoming more frequent.
The bomber was the second Azerbaijani aircraft shot down this week, Interfax and Itar-Tass reported, citing the downing of a military aircraft accused of firing at an Armenian village.
Scores of people have reportedly died in fighting this month, bringing the death toll to an estimated 2,000 in the protracted conflict.
Nagorno-Karabakh is within Azerbaijan but its Armenian population has declared its independence, triggering a fight from Azerbaijan and help from Armenia.