Armenian President dismisses 4th Interim Director of Security Service in 2 years

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Yerevan [Armenia], November 8 (ANI/Sputnik): Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has fired the interim director of the National Security Service (NSS), Mikayel Hambardzumyan, the presidential office said on Sunday, in the wake of reports about Azerbaijani forces having seized the strategically important city of Shusha in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Hambardzumyan was appointed as interim director on October 8 after the previous head, Argishti Kyaramyan, resigned. Previously, he served as deputy director of the NSS.

"[We order] to release Mikayel Hambardzumyan from the duties of the interim director of the National Security Service," the presidential office said in a statement.

The office added that Deputy Director of the NSS Armen Abazyan was appointed as the new head of the authority and would be the fifth director in the last two years.

The new appointment comes amid what is considered to be a turning point of the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. In particular, Baku claimed on Sunday that the Azerbaijani forces took control of the city of Shusha, which is of great military importance as it is located at a strategic height near Karabakh's capital of Stepanakert and its possible fall will cause significant problems for the defenders of the Artsakh capital. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said that fighting in the city was still ongoing. (ANI/Sputnik)