JUNE 12, 1993 – MONTE MELKONIAN MET DEATH ON THE BATTLEFIELD
13:38, June 12, 2012
In the early morning the self-defense forces of the Martuni region of
Nagorno Karabakh began an operation to destroy the military strongholds
in the villages of the Aghdam region of Azerbaijan.
Everything was going as planned. By noon the operation was over.
Monte, Komitas, Saribek, Saro, Hovik, and Gevork entered the Marzili
village riding in a Vilis.
After examining the territory they were to determine the new
positions. When they were approaching a crossroads they noticed an
armored vehicle and stopped the Vilis. At a distance of 40 meters
a group of soldiers gathered around the vehicle. Komitas, who was
wearing an Azerbaijani military uniform, got out of the car and walked
towards them. He called to them, “Are you Armenians?” They answered
“No” in Azerbaijani. Komitas would later say that the moment he asked
the question he knew they were enemy soldiers. He opened fire and
retreated. The others jumped out the car and took positions, firing.
The vehicle’s large-caliber machine-gun joined the enemy’s submachine
gunners. During the first burst of gunfire, the men were lying on the
ground. Monte rushed towards the wall of the nearest house. The second
machine-gun burst resounded. It hit the wall… A large fragment of
a shell pierced Monte’s head. Four of the men were already wounded.
Holding Monte, Hovik called for help over the radio transmitter – 00
is shot, 00 is no more… They took position around their commander
and continued to resist. The relief forces destroyed the Azerbaijani
detachment, and took a prisoner. The reconnaissance chief, Saribek
Martirosyan, was bleeding profusely and died as soon as they reached