Anti-communist guerrillas attacked local party headquarters in a disputed Armenian-dominated enclave of Nagorno Karabakh inside Azerbaijan that has become a virtual battle zone, Soviet media reports said Saturday.
The official news agency Tass said two people, including a top Azerbaijani communist official, were wounded Friday in a grenade-launcher attack at party headquarters in Stepanakert, capital of the Nagorno Karabakh enclave in Azerbaijan.The assault appeared to be the clearest sign yet of incipient guerrilla war in the center of the disputed Armenian enclave, which Tass said has become a virtual battle zone between Christian Armenians and Moslem Azerbaijanis. Shortages of food and other goods have been reported.
"The grenade exploded in an office where there were senior officials of the (Azerbaijan) republican organizing committee of the region, as well as of regional law enforcement bodies and the Interior Ministry task force," Tass said.
"It wounded the second secretary of the Republican Communist Party Central Committee V. Polyanichko and a representative of Soviet Interior Troops command," Tass said. The report was confirmed by the independent news agency Interfax. Neither gave Polyanichko's first name.
Interfax said an Armenian was arrested and "suspected of involvement in Friday's (grenade launcher) incident." It did not elaborate, saying only that the arrest was made during an "anti-terrorist operation."
The Armenian-Azerbaijanian fight over control of Nagorno Karabakh goes back more than two years, leaving in its wake at least two major pogroms against Armenians, hundreds of dead on both sides and more than 400,000 refugees.
Virtully no Azerbaijanis now live in Armenia, while 200,000 Armenians live in neighboring Azerbaijan.