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Armenian Ministry Vows ‘Consequences’ For Officers Responsible For Army Deaths


The building of the Armenian Ministry of Defense in Yerevan

The army officers responsible for the latest incident in the ranks in which three conscripts were allegedly killed by their fellow serviceman will suffer consequences, the Armenian Ministry of Defense said on Friday.

It gave no names, but media reports suggested that the commander of the Goris military unit where the incident happened and the head of the local military police department have already been fired.

Three 19-year-old conscripts were found dead at the Kornidzor military base in the southern Syunik province in the early hours of August 19, triggering suspicions about a possible Azerbaijani commando raid.

The Ministry of Defense, however, almost immediately dismissed such a version of events, saying that based on the preliminary information there was no indication that the incident was connected with any attack by the Azerbaijani military.

Later on August 19, the Investigative Committee said another conscript from the same military unit had been arrested on suspicion of killing the three soldiers.

No motives for the killings have been reported yet. Investigators continue to look into the case as part of a criminal case launched on an article dealing with the murder of two or more persons.

The full name of the suspect has not been published yet. It is only reported that he is a native of Armenia’s Gegharkunik province.

Out of 44 army deaths reported in Armenia since the beginning of this year 35 were non-combat deaths.

Human rights activist Artur Sakunts, who has dealt with the issue of army deaths for years, described it as an alarming statistics that reveals a long-standing problem with the proper organization of military service.

“There are issues related to the organization of military service. They have been continuous, and we have continuously raised our concerns. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen necessary actions that would have changed the situation and reduced the number of non-combat deaths,” Sakunts said.

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