STEPANAKERT—Armenian military serviceman Movses Gasparyan, 20, received a fatal bullet wound from a shot fired by an Azerbaijanis sniper on Friday at 3 p.m., News.am reports.
Gasparyan was fatally wounded at a military base stationed in the south-eastern region of the line of contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijani armed forces.
An investigation is being carried out to find details of the incident, the Karabakh Defense Ministry said. Azerbaijani authorities are denying their involvement in the shooting.
Incidentally, Artsakh armed forces reportedly intercepted a commando raid on the town of Kelbajar on Thursday and captured an Azeri serviceman. Artsakh officials released photos of weapons and an Azeri flag they say were found on the Azeri serviceman’s person.
The Karabakh military reported the arrest of Shahbaz Guliyev in a statement issued on Thursday, RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) reported. It said the 46-year-old was a member of an Azerbaijani “reconnaissance and sabotage group” that was neutralized by its forces in the Kelbajar district sandwiched between Armenia and Karabakh.
The announcement of Guliyev’s capture coincided with an official confirmation that a 17-year-old Armenian resident of Kelbajar, Smbat Tsakanian, went missing a week ago. Officials in Stepanakert did not rule out a connection between his disappearance and the alleged Azerbaijani infiltration.
Tsakanian’s father Mekhak told the “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily that the young man was alone in their house near Nor Erkej village when he and other family members left it on July 4. He said they did not find him here when they returned home the following morning.
“I am 100 percent sure that Azerbaijani saboteurs kidnapped my son,” said Mekhak Tsakanian. “They broke into our house and stole food and other stuff.”
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry insisted on Friday, however, that Guliyev is a civilian, rather than a member of a commando unit.
“Shahbaz Jalaloglu Guliyev, a resident of the Terter district taken hostage in the Kelbajar district, does not serve in the armed forces of Azerbaijan,” the Defense Ministry in Baku said, RFE/RL reported citing the Regnum news agency.