YEREVAN, July 17. / ARKA /. Armenian defense minister Seyran Ohanyan promised today to beef up protection of border with Azerbaijan following “neutralization” of Azerbaijani commandos who according to Nagorno-Karabakh authorities had killed one Armenian officer and wounded a civilian woman.
Two citizens of Azerbaijan arrested by Nagorno-Karabakh authorities were said to be members of the group of saboteurs and were charged with crimes committed in Nagorno-Karabakh’s territory.
They were identified as 46-year-old Shahbaz Quliyev and 56-year-old Dilham Askerov. According to Karabakh authorities, they were armed with automatic rifles, pistols with silencers, as well as hand grenades.
Speaking at an Armenian government session today minister Ohanyan blamed the tension on Armenian-Azerbaijani border and on the line of contact between Karabakh and Azeri troops on Baku and its refusal to withdraw snipers from the border. He said the tension in recent years has spread to Tavush region of Armenia.
According to prosecutors in Nagorno-Karabakh, there are “serious grounds” suggesting that the commandoes had killed a 17 year-old Armenian boy, Smbat Tsakanian, 17 in Karvachar region of Nagorno-Karabakh, who went missing on July 4. His body was found in a forest in Karvachar.
During a meeting with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, Nagorno-Karabakh president Bako Sahakyan described the recent intrusion by the Azerbaijani commandos as another “provocative terrorist act” and a serious blow to the Karabakh peace process. -0-