Azerbaijani Gun Fire Reported Near Syunik

The border in Syunik

The border in Syunik

The border in Syunik

Azerbaijani armed forces discharged small and large caliber weapons in the immediate vicinity of villages in Armenia’s Syunik province, said Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan, who also posted a video chronicling the sporadic Azerbaijani gunfire.

“This video was recorded two days ago, at different times of the day, in the middle of Agarak and Yeghvard villages of Kapan. The footage was captured by our border guards at the lines of contact, explained Tatoryan.

“To put the matter in context and to be clear, the point of origin of these shootings is directly about one kilometer from the village of Agarak,” Tatoyan said, adding that he periodically receives alerts about the concerns and discontent form residents of Kapan villages over the discharging of firearms by the Azerbaijani military on a regular basis.

“All of these once again confirm that in the immediate vicinity of Syunik communities, and on the roads connecting those communities, there should not be any Azerbaijani military forces. The presence of these forces seriously endangers the rights of Armenian civilians, disturbs their peace and peaceful life,” Tatoyan said reiterating a appeal he made last week to ban Azerbaijani soldiers from residential areas in Syunik.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry downplayed the incidents while acknowledging the sporadic Azerbaijani gunfire.

“In some parts of the border, sporadic shots were fired into the air, which did not change the operational tactical situation,” said the defense ministry.

Azatutyun.am reported on Monday that Russian border guards set up an additional post on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan at the weekend after new of the gunfire.

According the provincial administration, Russian border guards deployed in the area documented the sporadic gunfire and established an additional outpost at the border section in response to the incident, reported Azatutyun.am.

The village chief, Hayk Sahakian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that there was no further shooting there on Sunday and Monday. Despite the relative calm many, villagers remain concerned about their security, he said, arguing that the nearest Azerbaijani position is only about one kilometer from Agarak.

“They shoot sporadically,” Sahakian told Azatutyun.am. “When they use tracer bullets we can see that they fire toward the village.”

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