Karabakh Armenian Civilian Killed Near Frontline

A farmer in Nagorno-Karabakh has been reportedly shot and killed in what the Karabakh Armenian military and official Yerevan called on Thursday a fresh ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan.

Military officials in Stepanakert said Arayik Balasanian, a 33-year resident of a village in Karabakh’s southern Hadrut district, was fatally wounded in the head as he drove a tractor near the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” late on Wednesday.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry described the incident as “yet another Azerbaijani provocation.

“With this kind of actions Azerbaijan is not only putting itself at odds with the logic of a peaceful settlement process but is also seeking to maintain tension along the line of contact by all means,” ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said in a statement. Baku is thus impeding international efforts to end the Karabakh conflict, he said.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denied this information later on Thursday. A ministry spokesman told the Trend news agency that there were no truce violations at the frontline section southeast of Karabakh on Wednesday.

The civilian’s death was reported on the 17th anniversary of a Russian-mediated ceasefire agreement that stopped the 1991-1994 Armenian-Azerbaijani war for the disputed territory.