Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Sunday that his country’s forces have taken Shushi, the second-largest city in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“With great pride and joy, I inform you that the town of Shusha has been liberated,” Aliyev said in a nationally televised statement. He added that November 8 would “go down in the history of the Azerbaijani people” as the day “we returned to Shusha,” as the city is called in Azeri.  

Armenian officials immediately denied the claim and said the fighting was ongoing. They reported that “heavy fighting” for the city continues, and called the capture of the town “an unattainable pipe dream for Azerbaijan.”

Armenian defense ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said that, “Over the night, the most ferocious combat has unfolded in the vicinity of Shushi. Despite heavy destruction, the fortress city withstands the blows of the adversary.” She added that Armenian troops had knocked out several tanks and other armored vehicles and killed many Azeri troops in the fighting.