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Bodies Of Armenian, Azeri Soldiers Recovered


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- Military vehicles of the Russian peacekeeping forces drive along a road past a burnt tank near Shusha (Shushi), November 13, 2020

The parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have reportedly begun recovering and exchanging the bodies of their soldiers killed during the Armenian-Azerbaijani war stopped by a Russian-mediated ceasefire.

Ara Harutiunian, the Karabakh president, announced the start of the process late on Friday. He said it is being conducted with the help of representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (IRC) and Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in and around Karabakh.

The Armenian Defense Ministry confirmed the information in a short statement released on Saturday.

The mutual handover of soldiers killed in action is envisaged by the Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement which was brokered by Russia and went into force on November 10. The deal halted the six-week war that left thousands of people dead and tens of thousands of others.

Armenia’s Health Ministry indicated on Saturday that at least 2,300 Armenian and Karabakh Armenian combatants have died during the war. A ministry spokeswoman, Alina Nikoghosian, said the figure does not include dead soldiers whose bodies remain in Azerbaijani-controlled territory. Their total number is not yet known, she said.

The Armenian military has so far reported and identified about 1,400 combat casualties within its ranks.

Azerbaijan has still not disclosed the number of its soldiers killed during the war.

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