The second Azerbaijani soldier who crossed into Armenian territory on Monday was captured on Thursday and taken into custody by Armenian authorities, the defense ministry said in a statement.
On Monday, Azerbaijani defense officials reported that two of its soldiers were missing in action. Soon after, residents in local towns spotted one of the Azerbaijani soldier and immediately alerted the authorities. He was captured and arrested by Armenia’s National Security Services.
Speaking to parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the first soldier deserted his unit because he was mistreated by his fellow soldiers.
The soldier who was captured on Thursday was found by local youths in the Achanan village in Armenia’s Syunik Province.
“My friend and I had left the village and were going to the city—Kapan. On the way we saw him in a Turkish [Azerbaijani] military uniform. We stopped, asked questions, and understood that he is a Turk [Azerbaijani]. Then my other friend Ashot came and we caught him. Then the police came and we told them what had happened,” a local resident of Achanan Gor Ohanjanyan told the News.am site
“He was wet and dirty condition. He was carrying bullets, masks and several types of amunition. He was also holding a phone,” Ohanjanyan added.
The soldier who was captured on Monday showed up in Syunik’s Bnunis village and was later detained in another village—Ashotavan. He reportedly had knocked on the doors of local residents.
One of the residents who opened the door saw two masked individual and called the police. The soldier who was arrested on Monday was wearing civilian clothes, while his comrade managed to escape and avoided capture until Thursday.
Ohanjanyan, the local resident who caught the second Azerbaijani soldier told News.am that the captive was carrying a phone and alleged that it belonged to a security officer found killed on Wednesday in the nearby Zangezur Copper mine.
At 6:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday officials at the Kapan Medical Center told police that they had dispatched an ambulance to the copper mine where a man’s dead body had been found.
A spokesperson for Armenia’s Investigative Committee, Gor Abrahamyan, said his agency did not have information to indicate the person found at the copper mine was not killed by an Azerbaijani.
“At the moment, we have not received any information through investigation that the crime was committed by Azerbaijanis. If, beyond speculation, some people may have known, certain information about the perpetrators of the crime in general, then they can and are obligated to report [it] to the body conducting the proceedings,” Abramyan said in a social media post on Thursday.