Reports of incidents in Karabakh: incursions? exaggerations? injuries?

Throughout Monday (1 August), Armenian media carried stories about incidents involving the Azerbaijani Army and elements of the military formations of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) in the northern sector of the line of contact. The Armenian sources said that "Azerbaijani units resorted to provocation by making attempts to cross the contact line, which were stopped by the forces of the Defence Forces". The news was denied later in the day by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence who said categorically that their soldiers "had not opened fire".

The story however took a life of its own on social media, where whatever had happened, was amplified and reports spoke of an imminent Azerbaijani invasion, with incidents spreading to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Both the Armenian Ministry of Defence, as well as officials of the self-declared Nagorno Karabakh Republic had to intervene to deny the false rumours and to appeal to people to rely only on official information.

NKR sources said one of its soldiers was injured. He was named as Albert Vladiki Bakhshiyan, but there were no details of the nature of his injuries.

During the day Armenian media also published a picture of the self-styled president of NKR, Arayik Harutyunyan, huddled with his military and security officials.

It is not clear what happened, and why. But one strange factor is that nothing was seen or heard of the Russian troops that are deployed in Karabakh supposedly to ensure that incidents are avoided.

source: with agencies