Second Azerbaijani soldier who crossed Armenian border found
Second Azerbaijani arrested
“A second Azerbaijani soldier was found and arrested on Armenian territory,” the Defense Ministry reported without further details. It is assumed that he, like the first soldier, crossed the Armenian border on April 9. The first was discovered the next day in the village of Ashotavan in the Syunik region, about 20 km from the border.
So far there is no official version of how they managed to cross the border. Azerbaijan claims that they were lost. The state bodies of Armenia are not commenting on the situation in any way. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said yesterday: “As a result of investigative actions, it was established that they left their posts because of pressure exerted on them by their brothers-in-arms.” He did not, however, specify how the Azerbaijanis managed to get so deep into the sovereign territory of Armenia.
On April 10, Armenian media reported that two Azerbaijanis had crossed the Armenian border. One of them was first seen by the residents of the village of Bnunis in the Syunik region. Then he ended up on one of the streets of the village of Ashotavan, where he was detained. According to the head of Ashotavan’s administration, a 19-year-old Azerbaijani soldier said that he and his colleague fled from Nakhichevan positions because other soldiers humiliated them.
While the possibility of two Azerbaijanis crossing the border is being discussed in Yerevan and Baku, residents of the village of Bnunis claim that there were three of them. According to them, on the video from the cameras of the house where they knocked, three Azerbaijanis are visible. The hostess opened the door and immediately slammed it when she realized that these were not Armenian soldiers. They didn’t bother her anymore, they left.
The Azerbaijani was arrested in Kapan. Does he have anything to do with the murder?
An Azerbaijani soldier found in the city of Kapan is currently at the police station.
On April 12, Hayrapet Meliksetyan, a guard at the Zangezur copper-molybdenum plant, was killed in Kapan. The Armenian media floated a theory that he was killed by Azerbaijanis. However, the Investigative Committee stated that “the investigation found no proof of a crime by the Azerbaijanis.”
When the Azerbaijani soldier was detained not far from the crime scene, Telegram channels write that he had the mobile phone of the victim.
Azerbaijani soldiers – saboteurs?
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan reported that two soldiers got lost “in difficult weather conditions and with limited visibility.” This theory was also published in the Armenian media. The parliamentary opposition, not excluding the possibility that the Azerbaijanis had gotten lost, has another one:
“The first version: given the mountain-forest conditions on the border with Nakhichevan, it is possible that some kind of path opened with the melting of snow, and the Azerbaijani soldiers got lost. Second, they entered the territory of the Republic of Armenia to carry out special operations,” the head of the Hayastan faction and former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan said.
Will they be exchanged for Armenian prisoners?
The Prime Minister of Armenia discussed the possibility of prisoner exchange yesterdayin Parliament. According to Pashinyan, it is not a fact that the defendant wants to return to Azerbaijan:
“According to our international obligations, if a person in such a situation does not want to return, we cannot return him by force. At least, at the moment, the soldier did not express such a desire. If he wishes to return, then these issues [return or exchange for Armenian prisoners] can be discussed.”
He also cited the words of an Azerbaijani detained at that time that they fled from their positions “because of pressure and humiliation from their colleagues.”
“In this context, it is being actively discussed: how did it happen that the soldiers crossed the border without hindrance, passed through some territory, reached some places. Of course, these circumstances should be investigated and conclusions drawn regarding the security of the border,” he said.
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Second Azerbaijani detained