At least 14 people have been killed when an Azerbaijani military helicopter crashed in the Caucasus country’s eastern region of Khyzy, according to the the ex-Soviet republic’s border service.
“Fourteen people died and two more were wounded as a result of a state border service helicopter crash,” the border guard said in a statement, adding that 13 of the victims were military officers.
Earlier officials said that “a military helicopter belonging to Azerbaijan’s state border service crashed today at Garakheybat airfield in the Khyzy region at approximately 10:40 (GMT 0640) while conducting a training flight,” the border service and prosecutor general said.
“There are deaths and wounded among the crew,” the joint statement said. An investigation is underway into the accident’s causes, it added.
The incident came two weeks after Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia reported the worst fighting along their shared border since going to war last year over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The six-week war claimed more than 6,500 lives and ended in November 2020 with a Russian-brokered ceasefire. The deal saw Yerevan cede swathes of territories that it had controlled for decades.
Six Armenian troops and seven Azerbaijani soldiers were killed on November 16 in a flare-up in fighting. A truce was negotiated the same day by Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Tensions between Baku and Yerevan have been running high since May, when Armenia said Azerbaijan’s military crossed its southern frontier to “lay siege” to a lake shared by the two countries.