Azerbaijan has apologized for accidentally shooting down a Russian Mi-24 military helicopter near its border with Armenia border, which killed two Russian servicemen.
The incident on Monday was accidental and not directed against the Russian side, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that Baku it was ready to pay appropriate compensation, reports Xinhua news agency.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defence Ministry said an Mi-24 helicopter, which was outside the combat zone, was shot down by a man-portable air defence system when escorting a convoy of the 102nd Russian military base through the territory of Armenia.
The chopper then lost control and crashed in a mountainous area in Armenia.
A third crew member was shifted to the home airfield with moderate injuries.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry explained that the flight took place in the dark at a low altitude outside the air defence radar detection zone, while Russian helicopters have not been seen previously in this area.
The Ministry said that the troops on duty decided to open fire, since the situation remains tense near the Azerbaijan-Armenia border as the two countries continue armed clashes in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.