Azerbaijan says it forced around 40 Armenian troops to retreat after border incursion

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FILE PHOTO: A view shows a damaged truck of ethnic Armenian forces in Jabrayil District

BAKU (Reuters) -Azerbaijan's defence ministry on Wednesday said around 40 Armenian military personnel had crossed into Azeri territory on Tuesday evening and were forced to retreat, allegations denied by the Armenian side.

Both countries accused each other last month of sending troops across the border in separate incidents, highlighting the fragility of a Russian-brokered ceasefire that halted six weeks of fighting between ethnic Armenian forces and the Azeri army last year.

"As a result of urgent actions taken by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Armenian armed forces were withdrawn from the territory of our country," the Azeri defence ministry said in a statement.

"No weapons were used by our armed forces during the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces...," it added, describing Armenia's move as a "provocation".

Armenia rejected the accusations, describing its neighbour's claims as "disinformation".

"Such disinformation is disseminated by Azerbaijan's military and political leadership to impress the international community," Russia's TASS news agency cited Armenia's defence ministry as saying.

Last year's conflict saw Baku drive ethnic Armenian forces out of swathes of territory they had controlled since the 1990s in and around the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Mark Heinrich)