Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told top U.S. officials that "ethnic cleansing” is taking place in Nagorno-Karabakh as the exodus of people fleeing to his country from Azerbaijan accelerated.

"The ethnic cleansing of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh is underway, that’s happening just now,” Pashinyan told U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power and Acting Assistant Secretary of State Yuri Kim at talks Monday. This situation and tensions in our region continue to grow, and now it is very important to take concrete measures to prevent further escalation and even bigger problems.”

The number of "forcibly displaced” people entering Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh exceeded 28,000, the government in Yerevan said Tuesday. That represents almost a quarter of the 120,000 Armenians that local officials have said live in Nagorno-Karabakh.