An Armenian army officer was taken prisoner by Azerbaijani forces over the weekend in disputed circumstances.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said the junior officer, Gurgen Alaverdian, lost his way due to “extremely unfavorable weather conditions” as he was about to inspect an Armenian frontline position on Saturday evening. It did not specify whether the position is located on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border or the “line of contact” around Karabakh.
The Azerbaijani military claimed, meanwhile, that its troops deployed in the Goranboy district just north of Karabakh captured Alaverdian while fighting back an Armenian commando attack early on Sunday.
Shushan Stepanian, the spokeswoman for the Defense Ministry in Yerevan, dismissed the claim as “disinformation.”
“There was no [Armenian] sabotage attack,” said Stepanian. “They are just trying to portray the officer who lost his way as a saboteur.”
As of Monday afternoon it was not clear whether the Armenian government has asked representatives the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit Alaverdian in Azerbaijani custody or ascertain his whereabouts. The ICRC has offices in Baku and Yerevan.