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Azerbaijani soldier kills civilian in Nagorno-Karabakh – report

CM 10/10/2021

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The de facto Republic of Artsakh and Russian peacekeeping forces reported that an Azerbaijani soldier shot and killed a civilian in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Saturday.
The police force of the Republic of Artsakh reported on Saturday that Aram Tepnants, a 55-year-old resident of Martakert in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, was shot by a sniper from the Azerbaijan Armed Forces while driving a tractor in an agricultural area.
“On October 9, during agricultural work in the Martakert region, near the line of contact, a civilian from the village of Madagiz was mortally wounded as a result of shelling from the Azerbaijani side,” said the Russian Defense Ministry. “The command of the Russian contingent is investigating the incident with the involvement of representatives of both sides.” 
The Foreign Ministry of the republic strongly condemned the alleged shooting, saying it was aimed at “creating an atmosphere of fear among the peaceful population of the Republic of Artsakh and emigration of Armenians from the country.” 
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denied that the incident had taken place.
The Republic of Artsakh is a de facto republic internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. Last year, the area in which the republic sits was recaptured by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war against Armenia.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions in the region between Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The tensions were sparked after Azerbaijan began targeting Iranian trucks with fines and arrests, and Iran conducted military exercises along its northern border and warned against Israeli influence in neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan.
Tensions also rose recently due to joint military exercises carried out by Azerbaijan and Turkey in the Caspian Sea, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry warning that such drills violated international conventions banning the military presence of countries other than the five states that border the sea.
Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia also held a joint drill in Georgia in the past week.


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