Another Armenian villager captured by Azeris

Another villager from the northern Armenian border village of Verin Karmiraghbyur has been abducted by Azerbaijanis after wandering across the border into Azerbaijan on Friday, Armenpress reports.

The 22-year-old man, Arsen Khojayan, has been confirmed to be related to another, elderly, man from the same village, Mamikon Khojoyan, who was similarly captured by Azeri authorities a month ago and who was recently returned to Armenia showing signs of abuse and torture while in captivity.

The Azeri news outlet Xezerxeber published pictures of the Armenian citizen. He is shown in civilian clothes. The Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People confirmed that the man is under their custody.

Xezerxeber reported that the Armenian citizen was apprehended by Azeri citizens in the village of Tovuz and handed over to Azeri authorities.

The mayor of Verin Karmiraghbyur, Kamo Chobanyan, confirmed that Khojayan is from his village and that he went missing after taking his cattle to graze in the hills. The village head believes that Arsen Khojayan probably crossed the border the same way Mamikon Khojoyan did, accidentally wandering across the border while having lost his bearings in thick fog.

Representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross Zara Amatuni said the Red Cross is looking into the case.

A spokesman for Armenia’s Defense Ministry said that Khojayan is not a military serviceman.

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