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The video uploaded by an Azeri YouTube user shows that the Armenian helicopters were not attacking the Azerbaijani positions as claimed by the Azeri officials.
Below, see part of the RFE/RL’s Armenian service report of the incident or read it in full here.
In a fresh escalation of tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan’s military shot down on Wednesday an Armenian combat helicopter near Karabakh, killing its three crew members.
In a statement, the Karabakh Armenian army said the Mi-24 helicopter belonging to it was destroyed while flying “very close” to the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” east of the disputed territory. The statement said it came under “intensive” Azerbaijani gunfire even after falling to the ground.
The Armenian-backed army reported no further details of the incident, the first of its kind since a Russian-mediated truce stopped the Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Karabakh in 1994. “An investigation is underway and additional information will be provided after it is over,” its spokesman, Senor Hasratian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) from Stepanakert.
Later in the day the Karabakh Defense Army identified the three dead pilots as Major Sergey Sahakian, Senior Lieutenant Sargis Nazarian and Lieutenant Azat Sahakian.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry claimed that the helicopter gunship was shot down after “attacking” Azerbaijani army positions in the Aghdam district east of Karabakh. It said Armenian warplanes and helicopters had carried out “provocative flights” over the frontline in the past three days.
The Armenian military dismissed those claims. Military officials in Stepanakert and Yerevan insisted that the Mi-24 carried no weapons and did not cross the frontline.