The Armenian military promised strong retaliation on Tuesday after one of its soldiers was killed and three others wounded at the most volatile section of Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said a convoy of military vehicles came under fire as it transported soldiers to Armenian army positions in Tavush province bordering western Azerbaijan. It said one of the soldiers, the 19-year-old Garik Poghosian, was shot dead. Three other conscripts were hospitalized with serious wounds, according to a ministry statement.
“The Armenian Defense Ministry is declaring that this criminal action by the enemy will not remain unanswered and that those who unleashed this provocation will once again pay the consequences,” read the statement.
There was no immediate reaction to the shootings from Baku. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry instead accused the Armenian side of opening fire at its frontline positions east of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The latest incident happened in an area where deadly truce violations have been a regular occurrence. The mountainous area saw an upsurge in violence in June last year during then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the South Caucasus.
Three Armenian soldiers were killed and several others wounded in a single incident at the time. At least five Azerbaijani soldiers were shot dead at a nearby border position the following morning in what official Baku called an Armenian commando raid.