Kamo Hovsepyan – Alone Against Azerbaijani Saboteurs – May 2015

“I can’t tell what I was experiencing at that moment. I thought I was going to die as grenades were flying in my direction. I was probably lucky – the last grenade only wounded my hand. Then, I thought that I needed to fight and that everything would be fine…” says Kamo Hovsepyan who in May 2015 threw back an Azerbaijani sabotage and reconnaissance group.

When the Azerbaijanis started firing at the Armenian positions from grenade launchers, Kamo and others began to defend themselves. Dust and smoke from grenade explosions reduced visibility, though it was morning and already sunny.

Kamo and Mirza were in the trench when a bullet hit Mirza’s helmet but didn’t severely hurt this head (the bullet probably barely hit the helmet, so Mirza only had a slight concussion – Voskanapat.info). Mirza did lose consciousness though, leaving Kamo one on one against the sabotage group.

“I dragged Mirza deep into the trench, covered him with my body, and started shooting back. After that, Azerbaijanis started shooting more intensively. From the shooting and the voices, I realized that there were a lot of them, and they were moving in my direction,” Kamo told Hetq.am, noting that for 10 minutes, he was left alone against the enemy.

In the meantime, other soldiers in positions took control of the remaining possible offensive paths. The 25-year-old company commander Andranik Taroyan together with the foreman was trying to get to the front line to help Kamo and Mirza. But since the enemy’s shells could injure the soldiers, they decided to get to the dugout and instruct the neighboring posts to launch an attack towards enemy positions lying in 60-80 meters. Apparently, the sabotage group had arrived from that direction.

Kamo continued to shoot back at the enemy. “I realized that I had no choice – bullets were running out, and they already were very close. I had an F-1 grenade. I pulled out the pin and threw it at them. This caused panic in them.”

The enemy retreated. In the morning, traces of blood were found at the positions. According to reliable information from the Artsakh Ministry of Defense, Azerbaijanis had at least one casualty and several wounded. The sabotage group left ammunition behind while retreating.

During the retreat, the enemy threw two grenades towards Kamo. One of them wounded him in the arm.

While Kamo was in a military hospital, his friends – Ararat, Tigran, Narek, Gurgen, David, Henry, Razmik, and Varuzhan – remained in positions. They couldn’t tell exactly how many people were in the sabotage group, but they counted at least seven.

Kamo Hovsepyan is from the village of Dsekh, Lori Province. He graduated from the Institute of Physical Culture, after which he was drafted into the army. While in the hospital, he joyfully recalled how he was trying to persuade Mirza to give him his gun’s magazine.

When Mirza came to, he could not understand what was happening. At this moment, Kamo was running short on ammo and asked Mirza to give him his magazine, but he refused. “I told him – Mirza, please give it to me, the Turks are coming.”

In the morning at 6 o’clock from Dsekh, Kamo’s parents and bride arrived at the military hospital to see him.

Hrant Galstyan, Photo by Sarah Anjargolyan and Eric Grigoryan

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