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Armenia reports soldier death on border

23 November 2021
Armenian soldier, undated. Photo via Civilnet.

Armenian authorities have reported that a 19-year-old soldier serving on the border was killed by Azerbaijani fire. Azerbaijani authorities have denied the claim. 

The Armenian Ministry of Defence reported on 22 November that an Armenian soldier, 19-year-old Suren Safaryan was killed when ‘Azerbaijani Armed Forces opened fire from firearms of different calibres at the Armenian positions’.

The incident reportedly took place near the village of Norabak in the northeastern province of Gegharkunik. 

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence has denied the veracity of the Armenian report, with a press release stating that ‘our [military] units did not open fire in this direction, it is calm’. 

Tensions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border spiked on 16 November as the worst fighting since the end of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh broke out. At least six Armenian soldiers were killed and at least 13 were taken prisoner, and the fate of 24 was ‘unknown’, according to the MOD statement. 

Azerbaijani authorities have confirmed seven fatalities among their soldiers. 

[Read more: POWs and issues of border demarcation after spike in Armenia-Azerbaijan violence]

Heavy fighting lasted for only a day and was brought to an end with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have since agreed to have an in-person meeting on 15 December on the margins of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels. 

[Read more: Pashinyan and Aliyev to meet in December]

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