Armenia’s Defense Ministry announced that on Tuesday an Armenian contract soldier was killed as a result of cross-border shooting into Armenia by Azerbaijani armed forces.
Contract soldier Zohrab Sianosyan, 36, was killed by Azerbaijani fire at around 3:30 p.m. local time at Armenia’s border with Nakhichevan. The Defense Ministry announced that an investigation has been launched into the incident.
Tuesday’s incident followed what the defense ministry called an attempt by Azerbaijani forces to breach Armenia’s border in the Tavush Province early Friday morning.
According to the ministry, at 5:30 a.m. Friday, the attempt by the Azerbaijani forces was thwarted by Armenian border guards, with Azerbaijan’s defense ministry reporting one fatality from the operation. Armenia’s defense ministry said that the Azerbaijani soldiers who were forced back into their positions left behind ammunition and a landmine detection device
Sianosyan, who was killed on Tuesday, was from the Pokr Vedi village of Armenia’s Ararat Province and a father of two daughters aged 2 and 4.
Head of the village Norik Martirosyan told NEWS.am that Sinanosyan had just gone to serve as a contractual serviceman and had been helping his parents on their farm.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry called out Azerbaijan for Baku’s deliberate attempts to escalate tensions along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
In a statement issued on Tuesday the ministry stressed the need for establishing international risk reduction mechanisms, calling it an important priority for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peace process.
“This [Tuesday’s incident] is yet another attempt by Azerbaijan to intentionally escalate the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” said the foreign ministry statement, which also cited the border incident in Tavush.
“Regular attempts by Azerbaijan to escalate the situation on the state border with Armenia, to expand the geographic scope of the escalation and its refusal to adhere to existing mechanisms of de-escalation are a testament to Azerbaijan’s deliberate attempts to undermine regional security and peace,” said Armenia’s Foreign Minsistry.
Such actions, the ministry said “demonstrate that the establishment of international risk reduction mechanisms is an important priority for the Nagorno-Karabakh [conflict] peace process, and the implementation of agreements reached in that regard is a necessary condition for the advancement of the peace process.”