Fifty Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed in recent days in provocations by Armenia, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

"A total of 50 military personnel of the Armed Forces, including 42 military personnel from the Azerbaijan Army and 8 military personnel from the State Border Organization, were martyred while preventing large-scale provocations," the ministry said in a statement.

Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of "large-scale provocations" in recent days, saying saboteurs planted mines and Armenian forces carried out “intensive” firing on Azerbaijani positions.

These actions by Armenian forces led to the confrontation, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

A meeting between Azerbaijan’s president and armed forces commanders on Tuesday stressed that the responsibility for the current tension "rests squarely with the political leadership of Armenia."

Also on Tuesday, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said 49 Armenian soldiers had been killed in the latest border flare-up with Azerbaijan.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In fall 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia, and the fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia.