The Azerbaijani military and Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian army exchanged on Thursday prisoners captured in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone.
The exchange arranged by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) took place in the Aghdam district east of Karabakh in accordance with an agreement reached by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan earlier this month.
Officials in Stepanakert said Artur Badalian, a civilian resident of a village in northeastern Armenia, was swapped for Anvar Hajiev, an Azerbaijani army officer who was taken prisoner by Karabakh Armenian forces last year.
“Azerbaijan gave Armenia one civilian back, while the Armenian side released one military serviceman," Ilakha Huseynova, a spokeswoman for the ICRC office in Baku, told Reuters.
Azerbaijan says it has one Armenian serviceman and six civilians, while the Armenian side is holding two Azeri military servicemen. Armenia says, however, that Azerbaijan is holding six Armenian military servicemen, not one.
The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents already pledged last October to repatriate all captives and the bodies of civilians and military personnel killed in the conflict zone. Several such bodies were exchanged in November.