The Armenian shepherd returned from captivity among Armenian and Russian troops (photo Sputnik Armenia)

Armenian Shepherd from Syunik Kidnapped during Daytime

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YEREVAN – On January 13, Azerbaijani forces abducted Surik Matevosyan, a 53-year-old shepherd of the Tegh community in the Goris region (Syunik Province), along with his 500 sheep. The head of the neighboring village of Aravus, Argam Hovsepyan, told us that the shepherd had gotten lost and the Azerbaijanis took advantage of this opportunity.

“Probably while grazing the sheep, he slowly went along and reached the border. On one side of the border are our people, on the other side are theirs. He crossed the border and they immediately went down and took him. The shepherd has 1,000 sheep, divided into two parts. Maybe he had 500 sheep with him,” Hovsepyan said.

Fortunately, on the same day, the shepherd was returned through the mediation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, but the Azerbaijani forces refused to return the sheep belonging to him.

The Armenian shepherd returned from captivity among Armenian and Russian troops

“The Azerbaijanis deny that there were about 500 sheep with the shepherd of Tegh village Surik Matevosyan when he was captured on January 13. They say there is no such thing,” the head of the village of Tegh, Davit Ghulunts, told us.

“But there are photos taken on a phone of the Azerbaijanis taking the sheep. We presented it to the Russian peacekeepers, and they presented it to the Azerbaijanis. Negotiations are continuing. There is no answer yet,” he added.

Deputy of the National Assembly Tigran Abrahamyan also commented on the case, observing: “The incident of a shepherd in the village of Tegh who was kidnapped due to the actions of the Azerbaijanis and then returned to his homeland through the efforts of Russian servicemen clearly shows the level of protection of the border settlements, or rather their vulnerability.”

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