National Hero Monte Melkonian (AVO) was killed on this day 20 years ago in the village of Merzili in Aghdam region. Melkonian was born on November 25, 1957 at Visalia, California to Charles and Zabel Melkonian.
Throughout his lifetime he struggled for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the protection of the rights of Armenians.
Melkonian carried several aliases over his career including “Abu Sindi”, “Saro”, “Timothy Sean McCormack” and “Commander Avo” the last being how troops under his command addressed him in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The last years of his life were spent fighting with the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army. Monte was killed in the abandoned Nagorno Karabagh village of Merzuli in the early afternoon of June 12, 1993. He was buried at Yerablur cemetery in Yerevan, Armenia and is revered by Armenians as a national hero.