Three NKR Servicemen Killed Ahead of Sarkisian-Aliyev Meeting

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STEPANAKERT, NKR (A.W.)—Three Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR) servicemen were killed on Dec. 17-18, in two failed penetration attempts by Azerbaijani forces. This brings the number of Armenian casualties in the span of just over a week to seven. These attacks come ahead of a Dec. 19 meeting between Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, which will be mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.

Detail of a bag left behind by Azerbaijani forces after the failed penetration attempt on Dec. 16 (Photo: NKR Defense Ministry)

Speaking to the Armenian Weekly earlier this week, Artak Beglaryan, spokesperson for NKR Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan, said Baku resorts to escalation ahead of high-level meetings.

“It is expected that Azerbaijan will start a new escalation before the scheduled meeting this month between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents,” said Beglaryan, explaining that Baku falsely believes that escalation can serve to pressure the Armenian side during the talks. “History shows that the opposite is true: the retaliatory actions by the Armenian side will weaken Baku’s position. The Azerbaijani style has not changed, and the content and outcome of the upcoming meeting will not change either,” said Beglaryan.

Privates Aghasi Grigorian (b. 1996) and Ruben Alexanian (b. 1996) were killed during clashes with Azerbaijani forces, according to a press statement released by the NKR Ministry of Defense. Gor Ohanian (b. 1992) was also fatally wounded on Dec. 17 in circumstances that are yet unclear, according to the statement.

According to the NKR Defense Ministry, Azerbaijani Special Forces launched two separate attacks on the northeastern and northern directions of the Line of Contact (LoC) overnight. NKR forces were able to stop these assaults, during which the Azerbaijani forces incurred losses and retreated.

The NKR Defense Ministry later released a separate statement saying that the Azerbaijani Army suffered at least three deaths and one critical injury near Talish, as well as two deaths in the southern direction of the LoC.

Azerbajani forces carried out another penetration attempt on the eastern direction of the LoC on the night of Dec. 16, which NKR servicemen were able to neutralize without any Armenian casualties.


Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Three NKR Servicemen Killed Ahead of Sarkisian-Aliyev Meeting