Ethnic Armenian forces confirm loss of Karabakh's second city, say enemy nearing capital

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A view shows the aftermath of recent shelling in Stepanakert
A view shows the aftermath of recent shelling in Stepanakert

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh are no longer in control of the enclave's second-largest city and Azeri forces are closing in on the capital Stepanakert, a spokesman for the enclave's leader said on Monday.

Azeris celebrated on the streets of Baku on Sunday after President Ilham Aliyev said his country's forces had taken Shusha, the second-largest city in the enclave, but Armenian officials denied the city had been captured.

That changed on Monday however.

Vahram Poghosyan, a spokesman for the ethnic Armenian Nagorno Karabakh leader, in a statement on his official Facebook page said:

“A chain of misfortunes follows and Shushi city is not in our control. We should keep it together as the enemy is near Stepanakert (the capital)”.

Armenians call the enclave's second city Shushi, while Azeris call it Shusha.

(Reporting by Nvard Hovhannisyan; Editing by Andrew Osborn)