Three ex-leaders of Azerbaijan’s formerly ethnic Armenian-controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh arrived safely in Armenia on Tuesday, the Armenian state news agency Armenpress quoted one of them as saying.
Azerbaijan took control of the territory after three decades in a lightning military operation on Sept. 20, and vowed to prosecute the “criminal” separatist leadership, who it said had poisoned the minds of the population.
Almost all the 120,000 or so inhabitants have since fled to Armenia, fearing for their safety. But Azerbaijan has arrested Ruben Vardanyan, a former head of Karabakh’s government, and Levon Mnatsakanyan, former commander of Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist army, at border checkpoints.
Former state minister Artur Arutyunyan, ex-interior minister Karen Sarkisyan and the former head of the security service, Ararat Melkunyan, all entered Armenia on Tuesday, Arutyunyan said, according to Armenpress.