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‘My boys miraculously survived the war’: mother has not heard from her sons for 20 days after gas station blast

October 16 2023, 10:32

20 days after the gas station explosion in Stepanakert, Natella Musayelyan has no information about her sons, Vahan, 32, and Karen, 28. On the day of deportation from Artsakh, the guys went for fuel, but after the explosion at the gas station, no one heard from them.

In a conversation with Alpha News, Mrs. Natella spoke about the circumstances of the forced exodus from Artsakh and the disappearance of her sons.

Natella Musayelyan’s family was from the village of Khndzristan, Askeran region. Her sons, Vahan and Karen, were soldiers who participated in the 44-day war. As a result of Azerbaijan’s attack on September 19, 2023, Vahan received shrapnel wounds; Karen remained unharmed.

“My sons were miraculously saved during the 44-day war. During the latest battles, they also barely escaped death. And the next day, we were told that we had to leave our homes. We took the most necessary things, including photographs and gifts from my sons, which are very dear to me, and were forced to leave our home.

On the way, we were low on gas, so we waited in line. We were told that there was a gas station two kilometers away; I told my sons to go there. The weather was awful; it was raining heavily, and my daughters-in-law and grandchildren were waiting inside the car.

Suddenly we saw firefighters and ambulances passing by. I went out and started asking people what happened, and they said that there had been an explosion at the gas station and that there were casualties. We waited for several hours, but my sons did not return.

Then I called Stepanakert and asked someone to come pick us up because it was difficult to stay on the road with kids. Confused, we got out of the car, the doors remained open, and we didn’t even think about closing the doors and taking the keys. We were shocked; we left without understanding anything and went to Stepanakert. We only took a small bag with our documents. The next day we returned, but the car was not there; it was stolen,” Mrs. Natella said.

Mrs. Natella asked in both Stepanakert and Yerevan hospitals: Vahan’s and Karen’s names are not on the list of those killed and wounded by the explosion.

She doesn’t want to believe that her boys got burned and hopes that someday she will hear good news.

“I don’t know where my children have gone. There are unidentified patients among the victims. But even if I can’t identify their faces, I will recognize my sons by other signs,” Mrs. Natella said.

Mrs. Natella, with her daughters-in-law and grandchildren, were forced to spend two days at Renaissance Square in Stepanakert in order to go to Yerevan on buses sent from Armenia. On September 30, they arrived in Kornidzor and registered there, and then moved to Yerevan, where they stayed in the house of one of their relatives for two days, and then they stayed in one of the colleges until October 12. It’s only been two days since they rented an apartment in the administrative district of Shengavit.

“There was a benefactor who said he would pay the rent and help. Now we can’t think about work yet because my grandchildren are small and one of my daughters-in-law is pregnant. We don’t know what to do yet. All our thoughts are about Vahan and Karen. We want to know that they have been found,” added the mother, who has not heard from her sons for 20 days.