STEPANAKERT—Armenian serviceman Artak Rafaelyan, born in 1997, died from fatal wounds inflicted by Azerbaijani fire on March 28 at 1pm while he was on duty at a military unit located eastern direction of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic/Azerbaijani border, also known as the Line of Contact.
Investigation into details regarding Rafaelyan’s death has been launched by the Artsakh Defense Ministry.
According to various sources, the serviceman was from Hrazdan, Armenia and was the elder son of two. Rafaelyan’s younger brother enlisted in the army earlier this year.
The Defense Ministry offered condolences to Rafaelyan’s family, friends, and fellow servicemen.
Artsakh President Bako Sahakian posthumously awarded Rafaelyan the “For Service in Battle” medal on March 29.
The same day, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs on March 28 were in Stepanakert for official meetings. Sahakian received the Co-Chairs to discuss issues related to the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict settlement as well as recent developments along the border.
Rafaelyan’s death comes almost a month after Nver Babajanyan, born in 1980, was killed as a result of Azerbaijani fire. Babajanyan died of shrapnel wounds from shelling by the adversary. He survived by his wife and two children.
Four days before Babajanyan’s death, Azerbaijan launched an offensive toward Artsakh, which is described as the most intense fighting along the border since the April War in 2016.