Azeri & Armenian protesters clash in London as tensions between neighbors continue to mount (VIDEO)

Azeri & Armenian protesters clash in London as tensions between neighbors continue to mount (VIDEO)

An Azerbaijani protest outside Armenia's embassy in London became heated after being met with a counter-rally of Armenians living in the British capital, amid a major escalation between the two former Soviet republics.

The demonstrators, carrying their country's national flags, stood on opposite sides of the road on Friday, chanting slogans. However, at some point an exchange in insults transitioned into a physical altercation, with the police forced to intervene.

It is unclear who initiated the violence, with Azeri and Armenian press and social media users each accusing the other country of being the provocateur.

Tensions are currently high between Azerbaijan and Armenia following border shelling on Sunday, which spawned further skirmishes between the two in the days that followed. The outbreaks of violence have claimed at least 17 lives on both sides.

The bone of contention between the neighboring South Caucasus states is Nagorno-Karabakh, a large Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan which declared independence from Baku three decades ago. The two countries fought a bloody war over the region in the early 1990s, which ended with a ceasefire brokered by Russia, the US and France.

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FILE PHOTO: An Armenian soldier near the border with Azerbaijan, in Armenia. 2015. © AFP / Karen Minasyan; inset Elbit Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle ©  REUTERS/Pascal Lauener
Armenia says it shot down Azerbaijani drone as fierce border clashes continue into third day (VIDEO)

The new spike in tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia became the main topic of the Russian Security Council session chaired by President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Moscow called upon all sides to adhere to the ceasefire, and offered to mediate peace talks between Yerevan and Baku, just like it did in 1994.

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