STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (A.W.)—Three servicemen of the Artsakh Armed Forces—Gegham Zakaryan (b. 1995), Sargis Abrahamyan (b. 1998), and Sargis Melikyan (b. 1997) were killed in a landmine explosion on Tuesday. Serviceman Narek Hoveyan (b. 1998) suffered serious injuries in the same incident and remains in critical condition.
The Artsakh Defense Ministry announced in a statement that the explosion took place at around 6:35 p.m. on Nov. 21, at a military unit in the northeastern direction of the line of contact (LoC) between Artsakh and Azerbaijan.
The Ministry also said an investigation has been launched into the incident, and expressed its condolences to the families, loved ones, and fellow servicemen of the deceased soldiers.
Armenia’s Investigation Committee—which said in a statement that the soldiers were blown up by an anti-tank mine while carrying out engineering work—is also investigating the circumstances of the servicemen’s deaths. According to the Committee, a criminal case has been instituted based on a penal code article dealing with “breach of rules for handling weapons, ammunition…that negligently caused the death of two or more persons.” The spokesperson for Armenia’s Defense Ministry, Artsrun Hovannisyan, also confirmed that the case was not a consequence of direct enemy contact.