Armenian Military Reports Azeri Incursion Attempt

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL, Armenpress) — The Armenian military claimed to have thwarted early on Friday, March 6, an Azerbaijani commando raid on one of its positions along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.

The Armenian government reported attacks almost every day. One soldier, Zohrab Sianosyan, 36, was killed by Azerbaijani fire on March 10 in the south-western section of the border. An investigation is underway.

According to the Defense Ministry in Yerevan, an Azerbaijani “sabotage” unit attacked the outpost on March 6, but was repelled by Armenian soldiers deployed there, “suffering losses” as a result.

The ministry published photographs of a German-manufactured mine detector and combat ammunition which it said were left by the enemy at the scene.

“One soldier was lightly wounded as a result of the actions,” the ministry added in a statement on the pre-dawn incident which it said occurred in Armenia’s northern Tavush province bordering the Gazakh district in western Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan’s State Border Guard Service, whose troops protect that section of the border, denied the attempted incursion. It said that Armenian troops opened “intensive” fire on some of its positions from heavy machine-guns and sniper rifles early in the morning.

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“The Azerbaijani provocations are continuing,” the ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisyan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Friday. “The Armenian side is responding [to such incidents] with one or two precise shots, which result in appropriate consequences,” he said.

Tensions at the Tavush-Gazakh section of the heavily militarized frontier have been on the rise in recent weeks despite an overall decrease in truce violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict observed since October 2018.

“During the same period our soldiers have been wounded as a result of enemy actions,” Hovannisyan said in this regard. “It is only natural that we retaliated adequately for our wounded soldiers, which may have had [fatal] consequences.”

In addition, Public Radio of Armenia reported on March 9 that Azerbaijani forces have been firing in the direction of Tavush Province.

“There has been shooting in the direction of Voskepar this morning, but the village has not been directly targeted,” head of Voskepar community Serob Makhsudyan told Public Radio of Armenia.

Firing in the direction of the village started at about 3 pm on March 8. Several houses and a vehicle were damaged.

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