A statement issued by the NK Defense Army said the incident occurred late Friday in a unit deployed on the southern part of a ceasefire line around the region.
“As a result of a firearm-related incident on November 19, four soldiers were killed and four were wounded to various degrees,” the statement said, adding that a criminal investigation had been opened into the
incident, indicating it was an internal matter and not related to fighting with Azerbaijani forces along the ceasefire line.
This horrible news comes only a day after another Armenian soldier was found shot dead at his military base in the northeastern Chambarak district bordering Azerbaijan, thus continuing the array of killings in the Armenian armed forces in non-combat incidents.
This is the 15th such death in my memory. Majority of cases have been caused by hazing and bullying in the Armenian armed forces. Worse yet, it the realization, that those deaths could be and should be avoided, if those in charge, starting with Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian, took all the necessary steps.
These incidents are a serious blow to Ohanian’s repeated assurances that the Armenian military has stepped up its fight against hazing and other abuses within its ranks. True, dozens of officers and soldiers have been arrested or fired in connection with those cases since August, but clearly, it’s not enough.
Armenian military officials claim, that in reality army crime has considerably declined since the late 1990s, and the only reason we are hearing about killings in the army, is that now the Ministry is allowing this information to be published, while formerly it was classified and hidden from public.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister’s repetitive pledges to make the armed forces more transparent to the public don’t seem to be helping our poor soldiers, who are dying when they shouldn’t and their families, who are loosing the dear to their heart.