Armenia and Azerbaijan exchange the bodies of dead soldiers during ceasefire
- Latest figures from authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh put the number of soldiers killed at 1,383
- The Azerbaijani military has so far not provided any information about the losses in their own ranks
Armenia and Azerbaijan on Saturday exchanged the bodies of a number of dead soldiers following the arrival of Russian troops to oversee a ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan handed over to Armenia the bodies of an unspecified number of soldiers killed during clashes over the strategically important town of Shushi – Shusha in Azerbaijani – which was retaken by Azerbaijan, the country’s defence Ministry said.
In return, Armenia handed over the bodies of six soldiers to Azerbaijan. The exchange of corpses was agreed at the beginning of the week in an agreement to end all fighting.
Armenia’s Health Ministry meanwhile said on Facebook that more than 2,300 bodies had been forensically examined, among them those that had not yet been identified. It was not clear how many were civilians.
Latest figures from authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh put the number of soldiers killed at 1,383. The Azerbaijani military has so far not provided any information about the losses in their own ranks.
Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement earlier this week to end a bloody, six-week flare-up in fighting between the two former Soviet republics over the disputed region.
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Meanwhile, the Turkish defence Ministry said on Saturday that the first round of “technical” negotiations with Russia on coordinating the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh had ended in Ankara.
Turkish and Russian military teams plan to continue the talks in the coming days, the ministry said, without providing a timeline. The talks in Ankara started on Friday.
Turkey and Russia signed an agreement on Wednesday under which they will jointly operate a centre to oversee the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Ankara has vowed to support the predominantly Muslim and ethnically Turkic Azerbaijan “by all means.”