Five Azeri soldiers killed; no Armenian casulaties
YEREVAN—Azeri Armed Forces attempted to breach the Armenia-Azerbaijan border early Tuesday morning when 15 to 20 Azeri soldiers attacked the border positions at the Voskepar village in the Tavush region, reported Armenia’s Defense Ministry press service.
Armenian Armed forces immediately retaliated and neutralized the Azeris incursion by what the Defense Ministry is calling an Azeri “sabotage group.”
Preliminary reports indicate that five Azeri soldiers were killed with many more wounded. The remaining Azeri troops retreated back to their positions, carrying with them the dead and the wounded.
“Nobody was killed or wounded on the Armenian side,” said the Defense Ministry press service.
This incident follows an earlier Azeri incursion that resulted in the death of three Armenian soldiers on Monday, ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Armenia.
In Yerevan on Monday Clinton pledged that she will press Azerbaijan with “serious questions.”
“I was saddened to hear the latest news,” Clinton told a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Yerevan, commenting on the ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan recorded on Monday.
Clinton expressed concern over death of soldiers. “Force cannot resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, force must be ruled out.”
“I will visit Baku the day after tomorrow, and I have serious questions to ask the Azerbaijani leader. Both me and the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are convinced that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved exclusively by peaceful means, and a way should be found in this direction,” the senior U.S. official noted.
She called on the sides to refrain from use of force, because there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The only path for a solution is through the negotiating table,” Clinton added.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian also spoke about the cease fire violations at the press conference.
“We strongly condemn the violent provocations that are organized by the Azerbaijani side on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border which, unfortunately, resulted in victims and wounded, and that Azerbaijan is not satisfied by the fact that every day there are violations by Azerbaijanis on the line of contact of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. They are trying to transfer the tension, to sharpen the situation onto the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan which greatly undermines the negotiation process, as well as it is threatening the regional stability. The responsibility of all the possible consequences of all this lies on Azerbaijan,” said Nalbandian.