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Armenian Soldiers Attack Azerbaijani Serviceman in Border Provocation

By Gunay Hajiyeva August 26, 2021


A unit of Azerbaijan's State Border Service in the district of Gubadli, April 1, 2021 / State Border Service of Azerbaijan

An Azerbaijani serviceman has been hospitalized after he was stabbed on Wednesday by Armenian soldiers in the territory of a military unit located in the Gubadli district of Azerbaijan.

Two servicemen of the Armenian army orchestrated an attack on Ruslan Shiraliyev, a border guard who was stationed at one of the frontier posts of the Gubadli special division of Azerbaijan’s State Border Service.

“[He] was stabbed on his chest with a bayonet during hand-to-hand fighting. Soldier Shiraliyev was evacuated to a hospital of the State Border Service. There is no threat to his life at the moment,” the State Border Service said in a statement issued on August 25.

According to the statement, the perpetrators of the incident fled to the surrounding forests after other border guards rushed to help the injured soldier. The State Border Service accused the Armenian side of the provocation and vowed adequate measures.

The special border division of Azerbaijan has been launched in the district of Gubadli after it was liberated from Armenia’s occupation in last year’s 44-day war. Gubadli shares a border with the southeastern Gorus and Gafan districts of Armenia. The border remained out of Azerbaijan’s control during the 27 years of Armenian occupation.

Escalations along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border have been ongoing since May 2021 following a bloody war between the sides in the latter’s Karabakh (Garabagh) region last year. As a result of the 44-day war that broke out on September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani army liberated over 300 settlements, including five major cities from nearly 30-year-long illegal Armenian occupation. The war ended after a tripartite statement was signed on November 10 by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia. Armenia returned three more districts to Azerbaijan’s control as part of its obligations under the agreement.

Azerbaijan restored control of a larger portion of its 1,007-kilometer borderline with neighboring Armenia after the districts of Zangilan, Gubadli, Kalbajar, and Lachin were liberated. After regaining access to the border, Azerbaijan rolled out border protection measures. Azerbaijani officials described activities on the border as legal measures in line with maps available to both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

However, Azerbaijan’s post-war border protection efforts have been criticized by Armenian authorities who called Azerbaijan's actions on the border as “encroachment” into Armenia’s territory. Yerevan has applied for foreign assistance in regard to the issue, including from the Collective Security Treaty Organization military bloc, of which it is a member.

The Azerbaijani government has been calling on Armenia's authorities to recognize each other’s territorial integrity and borders and start working on delimitation and demarcation procedures. Baku has also called for a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Tensions along the border recently rose again after a series of provocations by the Armenian military.

Since August 1, the positions of the Azerbaijani army located in the districts of Kalbajar, Dashkasan, Gadabay, Tovuz, as well as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic have been shelled more than 25 times.