'Rest in peace, hero': Armenian powerlifting champion 'killed in fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh'

The Armenian Powerlifting Federation has announced that multiple national champion Tatul Harutyunyan has been killed amid ‘tense battles’ in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The federation issued a post on Facebook in which it shared the news of Harutyunyan’s death, without giving further details. 

“With great sorrow we inform that during Artsakh tense battles died a member of APF, multiple champion of Armenia and our good friend Tatul Harutyunyan,” the message read, sharing images of the powerlifter. 

“Please accept our sincere condolences on behalf of Armenian Powerlifting Federation. Rest in peace, hero.”

Clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh have entered a second week, with both nations making opposing claims of escalations by the other side.

Over the weekend, Baku reported that Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, Ganja, was hit by Armenian missile strikes, while Yerevan insisted that Azeri forces shelled Stepanakert, a major population center in the mainly ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh. 

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The aftermath of rocket artillery strikes in Stepanakert (L) and Ganja (R) © Defense Ministry of Armenia; Hikmet Hajiyev
War enters second week: Armenia & Azerbaijan accuse each other of shelling cities & targeting civilians (VIDEOS)

The ongoing hostilities mark one of the worst escalations in the history of the decades-long dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a large mainly Armenian-populated enclave within the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

The current fighting broke out on September 27, when Baku and Yerevan accused each other of cross-border aggression.

Both sides introduced martial law and conscription calls, deploying heavy weaponry to the frontline.

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Tempers are boiling over in Armenia and Azerbaijan amid clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh © Photolure via Reuters / Melik Baghdasaryan; AFP / Tofik Babayev
Azerbaijan & Armenia at war: What you need to know about bloody conflict over long-disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh (MAP)

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