An Azerbaijani army soldier has been killed by Armenian forces in continuing ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, the Defense Ministry in Baku said on Friday.
Azerbaijani news agencies quoted the ministry as saying that the contract soldier, Eshgin Guliyev, was shot dead by a sniper on Thursday evening. It did not specify the site of the reported incident, saying only that Guliyev was posthumously awarded a medal by Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov.
The was no immediate reaction to the shooting from the military authorities in Yerevan and Stepanakert.
Guliyev is the third Azerbaijani servicemen reportedly killed since the January 19 upsurge in truce violations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and “the line of contact” around Karabakh. The two other victims were officers.
The Armenian military has blamed the escalation on an alleged Azerbaijani commando raid on its positions in northeastern Karabakh, which left one Armenian soldier dead. Another Armenian conscript was killed near Karabakh in the following days. Baku has denied launching any incursions there and accused the Armenian side of violating the ceasefire.
The latest Azerbaijani casualty was reported the day after international mediators said that the conflicting parties have pledged to boost the ceasefire regime during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.