The Armenian Defense Ministry said Sergeant Hrach Manasarian died on his way to hospital after his army unit deployed outside the village of Yeraskh bordering Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave came under Azerbaijani fire.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry did not immediately report any fighting from the area about 70 kilometers south of Yerevan, which saw deadly fighting last summer.
Earlier in the day, it accused Armenian forces of opening fire over the weekend at its Azerbaijani troops stationed east and west of Nagorno-Karabakh. Defense Zakir Hasanov reportedly ordered the Azerbaijani army to vigorously respond to Armenian “provocations.”
The Defense Ministry in Yerevan swiftly dismissed the “disinformation.” In particular, it denied Baku’s claims that Armenian soldiers deployed outside a border village in Gegharkunik province on Sunday targeted nearby Azerbaijani army positions in the Kelbajar district west of Karabakh.
The village mayor also denied any fighting in the area. “We heard no gunshots yesterday,” he said.
There had been no major shooting incidents on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border for nearly two months. Russia and Western powers pressed Yerevan and Baku to de-escalate tensions along the long frontier.
Ceasefire violations were also reported in recent days from “the line of contact” along Karabakh’s east. Each side accused the other of starting the skirmishes that apparently did not result in any casualties.
Russian peacekeeping forces reportedly intervened at the weekend to stop exchanges of automatic gunfire outside the Karabakh villages of Khramort and Norshen.
The Khramort mayor, Zorik Abrahamian, said Russian officers negotiated with the commanders of nearby Azerbaijani military posts on Sunday. “Things have been quiet since then,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Monday.