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Turkey denies shooting down Armenian warplane

Armenian defence ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan said the Armenian SU-25 warplane was downed - and its pilot killed - during clashes over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh.

FILE: An image grab taken from a video made available on the official web site of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry on 28 September 2020 allegedly shows Azeri artillery strike towards the positions of Armenian separatists in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Picture: AFP

ISTANBUL - Turkey and Azerbaijan both denied Tuesday an Armenian claim that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet had shot down an Armenian warplane.

Armenian defence ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan said the Armenian SU-25 warplane was downed - and its pilot killed - during clashes over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's top press aide Fahrettin Altun called the claim "absolutely untrue".

"Armenia should withdraw from the territories under its occupation instead of resorting to cheap propaganda tricks," Altun said.

Azerbaijan defence ministry spokesperson Vagif Dyargahly also called the claim "yet another lie of Armenian propaganda".

Armenia had earlier this week also accused Turkey of sending mercenaries to back Azerbaijani forces in the ethnically Armenian region.

Turkey officially denies this.

But Altun wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday that Turkey was "fully committed" to help Azerbaijan "take back its occupied lands".

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