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Two Armenian soldiers detained after allegedly crossing into Azerbaijan

29 May 2023
Armenian and Azerbaijani posts near Sotk. Image via TASS.

Baku accused two Armenian soldiers of crossing the border into Azerbaijan on Friday to mount ‘sabotage’ operations. Following the soldiers’ detention, Yerevan accused Baku of abducting the two soldiers inside Armenian territory.

On 26 May, Azerbaijan’s State Border Service announced that they had detained two Armenian servicemen, Harut Hovagimyan and Karen Ghazaryan, in Azerbaijan’s southwestern district of Zangilan.

The border service has claimed that the two soldiers were members of a larger ‘sabotage group’ whose other members were able to avoid capture by taking advantage of the local terrain.

The following day, the state border service and the General Prosecutor’s Office stated that Hovagimyan and Ghazaryan were charged with illegal smuggling of arms and ammunition, illegal possession of weapons, terrorism, participating in actions aimed at inciting national enmity, and illegal border-crossing.

Armenia’s Ministry of Defence was quick to deny carrying out sabotage operations in Azerbaijan, stating that the two soldiers were transporting food to combat positions on Armenia’s southern border with Azerbaijan. 

Armenia’s Investigative Committee accused Azerbaijan of abducting the two servicemen from Armenian territory.

Last month, two Azerbaijani soldiers entered Armenia after reportedly getting lost due to poor visibility near the country’s border with Nakhchivan.


The two Azerbaijani soldiers were detained a week apart and stand accused of illegally crossing into Armenia. One of the two soldiers is additionally accused of murdering a 56-year-old security guard in Syunik.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.
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