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Armenia PM's wife kicks off combat course amid Karabakh conflict

0 min 48Approximate reading time

The wife of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday began combat training as fighting with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region entered a second month.

"A detachment of 13 females, including myself, will begin military training exercises," Anna Hakobyan, 42, wrote on Facebook.

"In a few days we will depart to assist with the protection of our borders.

"Neither our homeland nor our dignity will be surrendered to the enemy," added Hakobyan, a newspaper editor by profession.

It will be Hakobyan's second combat training since August when she and a group of women from Karabakh underwent a seven-day course that featured physical and weapons training.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have for three decades been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan's Armenian-populated mountainous Karabakh province, which broke away from Baku in the 1990s war that left 30,000 people dead.

On September 27, heavy fighting erupted again over Kharabakh, sparking allegations of war crimes and leaving hundreds dead.

The Armenians have suffered a series of reverses on the battlefield and had to retreat from parts of Azerbaijan's territories surrounding Karabakh which they had controlled since 1994.

Pashinyan has said the situation on the front is "very serious" and called on Armenians to take up arms.

His 20-year-old son Ashot signed up as a volunteer this month.

mkh-im/as/bp

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