Radio Moscow said Thursday that protesters attacked a prosecutor's office in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which officials have sealed off and put under curfew because of ethnic unrest.
One person was reported killed and 48 injured in clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.Soldiers cordoned off streets and checked identification papers Thursday in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
A strike in the territory closed schools, transportation and many state-run enterprises and public gatherings were banned, the radio said.
"There are soldiers on every street, at every crossroad, checking passports and personal cars," said a man who answered the telephone at the state radio and television office, Gostelradio, in Nagorno-Karabakh's main city of Stepanakert.
"The situation is not improving. It has become even more threatening," Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Vadim Perfiliev said at a news briefing in Moscow.
Perfiliev said an Armenian man was killed and 48 people were injured in clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh. Thirty-two of the injured were Armenians and 16 were Azerbaijanis, the spokesman said. More than 30 buildings had been burned down, Perfiliev said.
The government closed Azerbaijan to foreign journalists Thursday, a day after barring travel to Armenia.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a predominantly Armenian region of mainly Moslem Azerbaijan.
Blaming the violence on "corrupt elements" trying to distract attention from Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's reforms, Perfiliev said "such a situation, of course, cannot be tolerated. We cannot allow anarchy and the undermining of the rights of citizens under the Constitution."