Police officers were killed as a result of an Azerbaijani ambush attack

On the morning of March 5 2023, at around 10:00, Azerbaijani armed forces infiltrated Artsakh territory in a wooded area on the road in the area of “Khaipalu.” The Azerbaijani forces targeted the shift car of staff of the Police Passport and Visa Department, ambushing and opening fire on the vehicle.

3 police officers were killed as a result of the ambush.
Lieutenant Colonel: Armen Majori Babayan
Major: Davit Valerii Danielyan
Lieutenant: Ararat Telmani Gasparyan

Another serviceman, Lieutenant Davit Ashoti Hovsepyan, received a gunshot wound in the chest and is in the Republican Medical Center.

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan has spread disinformation about the ambush by Azerbaijani armed forces in the area of “Khaipalu” on March 5, in an attempt to justify the false narrative that their armed forces were preventing the transfer of weapons from Armenia to Artsakh.

Artsakh Ministry of Internal Affairs published a video of the attack, clearly showing the direction of movement of the car (from Stepanakert to the place of shift – Shushi region) refuting the false statements of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan.

Firstly, there were no weapons in the car other than police service weapons. Secondly, weapons could not have been transported from Armenia because the officers’ vehicle was clearly travelling from Stepanakert to their shift location and not moving from the Republic of Armenia. 

The video clearly shows the movement of the Azerbaijani servicemen and how they approach the car, open the door, shoot again and run away.

The analysis of the initial circumstances of the killing of the policemen allows to justify the actions of the Azerbaijani side as a war crime.

The infiltration of the Azerbaijani armed forces into the territory of the Republic of Artsakh and the attack on the officers of the Artsakh police is another flagrant violation of the November 9 Trilateral Declaration and shows the desire of the Azerbaijani side to provoke and escalate tensions.

Earlier, on March 2 and on the night of March 2-3, the units of the Azerbaijani armed forces stationed in the occupied territories of Askeran, Martakert and Martuni regions of the Republic of Artsakh also violated cease-fire agreements of the Trilateral Declaration of November 9, 2020. It is noteworthy that these attacks were carried out immediately after meetings between the representatives of Artsakh and Azerbaijan took place on March 1 regarding the opening of the Lachin(Berdzor) Corridor. By its actions, Baku openly demonstrates its rejection of negotiations as means to find a solution to any issue.

The red circle[39.757820, 46.697145] shows where the attack took place. The blue rectangles show Azerbaijani positions. The red line[39.752314, 46.729069] shows that section of the Goris-Stepanakert highway now blocked by purported Azerbaijani eco-activists.

Hetq, using geo-mapping tools, shows that an Azerbaijani military unit infiltrated the Line of Contact by one kilometer and attacked the van that was transporting Artsakh passport and visa officers from the Artsakh capital of Stepanakert to a local police station in the area.

The facts contradict Baku’s allegation that several vehicles were transporting weapons from Armenia to Artsakh.

Also on the same day Azerbaijani troops violated ceasefire in Martuni region of Artsakh, according to local residents, the Azerbaijanis fired a few kilometers from the Amaras Monastery, in an area called Khazaz.The shooting sounded when the villagers were engaged in agricultural work.

This incident took place in the background of a three-month blockade of the Lachin(Berdzor) corridor and the creation of a humanitarian catastrophe in Artsakh. After the decision of the Hague Court, the armed forces of Azerbaijan also opened fire on the civilians of Artsakh on February 28, March 2, on the night of March 3.
All this once again shows the need to ensure the rights and guarantees of the safety of the population of Artsakh and international involvement in them.