Armenia’s Defense Ministry said its troops took “counteractions” on the Armenian side of the frontier near the village of Verin Shorzha in eastern Gegharkunik province.
It released a short video that purportedly showed Azerbaijani excavators digging trenches and then leaving the scene after what appeared to be gunshots fired from nearby Armenian positions.
“They [the excavators] worked here both yesterday and today. But nothing is being done right now,” Verin Shorzha’s mayor told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
Azerbaijani troops reportedly crossed several sections of the border and advanced a few kilometers into Gegharkunik and another Armenian province, Syunik, on May 12-14, triggering a tense standoff with Armenian army units reinforced in recent weeks. Yerevan has repeatedly demanded their unconditional withdrawal. Baku maintains that they did not cross into Armenian territory.
In a weekend statement, the Defense Ministry in Yerevan said Azerbaijani forces halted last Thursday similar fortification work at a Gegharkunik section of the border after Armenian “warning shots.”
The ministry also said that Armenian and Azerbaijani troops deployed near another Gegharkunik village, Kut, exchanged gunfire on Saturday. It accused Azerbaijani soldiers of firing at an Armenian shepherd who tried to herd livestock that approached their post back to Kut.
“The gunfire stopped after retaliatory actions taken by the Armenian side,” the ministry said, adding that no one was wounded in the incident.
Local residents told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Monday that about 80 cows belonging to five Kut families ended up in Azerbaijani-controlled territory. They said Armenian military officials are negotiating with their Azerbaijani colleagues in a bid to return the cows to their owners.
The Azerbaijani military did not report shooting incidents in the area in recent days.