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More Armenian POWs Freed By Azerbaijan


ARMENIA -- People stand at a Russian military plane with some of Armenian captives upon its arrival at a military airport outside Yerevan, December 14, 2020

In a deal brokered by Russia, Azerbaijan set free 15 Armenian prisoners of war on Saturday night after receiving further information from Armenia about minefields around Nagorno-Karabakh.

The soldiers were flown from Baku to Yerevan by a Russian military transport plane. The commander of Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lieutenant-General Rustam Muradov, was also on board.

In a statement to the press made in the Armenian capital, Muradov said that earlier on Saturday he handed over to Baku Armenian maps detailing the location of thousands of landmines in two districts south of Karabakh recaptured by Azerbaijani forces during the autumn war.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani governments confirmed the handover of the minefield maps. They both thanked Moscow for arranging the deal.

Baku received similar information about Armenian minefields in another district around Karabakh before releasing 15 other Armenian POWs last month. That exchange was facilitated by the United States and Georgia.

The latest deal raised to 103 the total number of Armenian POWs and civilians freed to date. Dozens of others are believed to remain in Azerbaijani captivity.

Yerevan regularly demands their immediate release, citing the terms of a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the war in November.

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