Azerbaijan’s law-enforcement agencies said they detained two Armenian generals who were trying to leave the Nagorno-Karabakh region amid an exodus of the local population as Baku regains control of the area.
(Bloomberg) — Azerbaijan’s law-enforcement agencies said they detained two Armenian generals who were trying to leave the Nagorno-Karabakh region amid an exodus of the local population as Baku regains control of the area.
Davit Manukyan, who served as the first deputy commander of the Karabakh army, was detained and charged with terrorism and participation in illegal armed formations, Azerbaijan’s domestic security agency said in a statement.
The State Border Service in Baku also said it detained General Levon Mnatsakanyan, who served as Nagorno-Karabakh’s defense minister between 2015 and 2018. Both were taken to Baku.
Read more: Mass Exodus to Armenia as Nagorno-Karabakh ‘Ceases to Exist’
As many as 93,000 people have left Nagorno-Karabakh as of 4 p.m. on Friday, the Armenian government said. Local officials have said 120,000 Armenians lived in the territory before Azerbaijan carried out its military strike last week to assert control over the area.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s President Samvel Shahramanyan on Thursday issued a decree to dissolve the unrecognized republic’s state institutions and organizations by Jan. 1.
The mountainous area, which has a majority Armenian population but is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan, broke free of Baku’s control in the waning days of the Soviet Union. It has changed hands in several wars that have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 1 million.
Authorities in Baku on Thursday charged former Moscow investment banker Ruben Vardanyan with financing terrorism. Vardanyan was briefly state minister in Nagorno-Karabakh’s unrecognized administration. Azerbaijan detained him Wednesday as he tried to cross the border into Armenia.
–With assistance from Sara Khojoyan.
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