Casualties following incident on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border
For the last several days, tensions have been high on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. On the morning of March 6, reported by the Armenian Ministry of Defense, the Azerbaijani side attempted to sabotage an Armenian Armed Forces military base to the north-east.
The Azerbaijani side refutes this information and claims that Armenian forces fired at the Azerbaijani base.
The military departments of both countries also report contradictory information regarding the number of losses.
From 1991-1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan were engaged in the Karabakh War-an armed conflict which occurred the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan and the surrounding area. At the moment, the conflict has reached a standstill and Nagorno-Karabakh has the status of a de facto independent republic, but gunfire periodically breaks out on the border. The last serious aggravation happened in 2016 – the so-called “April War”, or “Four-Day War,” which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people.
The details as reported by Baku and Yerevan
Information from Baku
According to the State Border Service of Azerbaijan, on March 5 at 19:10 “the Armenian units committed a flagrant violation of the ceasefire on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border.”
Orkhan Pashazade, a 23-year-old Azerbaijani border guard, was wounded by a sniper shot. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
“The responsibility for the murder of a soldier guarding the internationally-recognized borders of Azerbaijan rests with the military-political leadership of Armenia,” stated the border service on news site Trend.
As for the attempted sabotage from the Azerbaijani side, the border service denies this. They say that it was the Armenian Armed Forces who began shelling Azerbaijani bases on the morning of March 6 with large-caliber weapons and sniper rifles.
“The enemy’s provocation was suppressed by retaliatory fire,” said the border guard said in their statement.
Information from Yerevan
On the evening of March 5, Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan posted on his Facebook page that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces fired at the Armenian base located in the Armenian region of Tavush. He considered these actions to be provocative, since the Azerbaijani units fired large-caliber weapons in this direction over the course of several days.
“The Armenian Armed Forces, as a rule, show restraint, however, targeted gunfire will not remain unanswered. All responsibility for this provocation and the consequences will fall on the Azerbaijani side.”
And on the morning of March 6, a statement was published about a sabotage attempt from the Azerbaijani side. The Armenian Defense Ministry press service states that the operation began at about 5:30 and was aimed at one of the combat bases in the north-eastern section of the Armenian border.
It is also reported that the Azerbaijani military were thrown back to their original positions with losses, and that during the retreat, they left behind ammunition and a mine detector. On the Armenian side, one soldier was slightly injured.
“An analysis of the adversary’s actions shows that they conducted serious preparations for this sabotage attempt, which was perpetrated by soldiers who had trained for that purpose. It is worth noting that they used a German mine detector to find a way through the minefield,” reported the Defence Ministry in their statement.