STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (A.W.)—Armenian serviceman Narek Gasparyan (b. 1997) was killed by Azerbaijani fire on June 17, becoming the fourth Artsakh Defense Army soldier to be killed as a result of Azerbaijani aggression in two days.
A day earlier, on June 16, Artsakh Defense Army servicemen Arayik Matinyan (b. 1997), Vigen Petrosyan (b. 1997), and Vardan Sargsyan (b. 1997) were fatally wounded.
According to several reports, the 20-year-old Gasparyan was a participant of the 2016 April War serving in Talish. According to family members, Gasparyan was to be discharged from the Artsakh Armed Forces in a month. Gasparyan’s brother also served last year and was recently discharged.
In a statement, the Artsakh Defense Ministry extended its condolences to the soldier’s family members, friends, and fellow servicemen and said that Azerbaijan’s latest aggression was inspired by the untargeted statements of international organizations, which do not put the blame of the escalation of violence on Azerbaijan. The Ministry also promised that Artsakh Defense Forces will retaliate.
Meanwhile, serviceman Myasnik Hovhannisyan, who was severely wounded on June 16, underwent successful surgery in Yerevan over the weekend. According to several reports, both of Hovhannisyan’s eyes sustained injuries as a result of Azerbaijani fire.
President Sahakyan: ‘We Respond to Barbarism with our Unity’
Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan visited the Talish village on June 16 to attend the opening of the “Revived Talish” monument, in honor of the lives lost in the village during the 2016 April War.
The village of Talish was the site of mass Azerbaijani aggression last April.
Sahakyan expressed his gratitude and noted that the monument reflected Artsakh’s firm will and determination to restore the village and to “make it prosperous again.”
In his address, Sahakyan stressed that the restoration of Talish is a top priority for his administration. “Such a monument is a message to the world that our will is unbending, faith towards our own strength is steadfast, and optimism is inexhaustible. We respond to barbarism with our unity,” said Sahakyan.