YEREVAN (PanARMENIAN.Net) — Azerbaijan has apologized for “accidentally shooting down” a Russian Mi-24 helicopter over Armenia, saying it is “ready to pay compensation,” Izvestia reports.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said the helicopter “flew in close proximity to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, in the dark, at low altitude, outside the radar detection zone of [the country’s] air defense [units],” claiming that the Azerbaijani side had not previously seen Russian Air Force helicopters in the area.
Baku, in particular, cited “the tense situation in the region” as a reason for the their decision to open fire on the aircraft.
Two members of the crew died while a third was injured in the crash, the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier. The Mi-24 aircraft accompanying a convoy of the Russian military base in Armenia was shot down with a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD), the Ministry added, stressing that the incident took place in the airspace of Armenia, outside the combat zone.