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YEREVAN, April 9. /TASS/. The search for bodies of servicemen killed in recent clashes along the line of engagement in Nagorno Karabakh is over, Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported small hours on Saturday.
On Friday, the parties to the conflict agreed a ceasefire in the afternoon. The search was conducted with mediation of representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the field assistants for the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in issues related to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the defense ministry’s press secretary Artsrun Oganesyan told TASS on Saturday.
The press secretary said the Karabakh side had found two bodies of its servicemen.
During the search, the agreement on complete ceasefire was observed fully, the press secretary said.
Overnight to April 2, hostilities erupted on the line disengaging warring sides in Nagorno-Karabakh. Later, the parties to the conflict accused each other of the ceasefire violations.
The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh (Mountainous Karabakh) is a mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. It was the first zone of inter-ethnic tensions and violence to appear on the map of the former USSR.
Even almost a quarter of a century after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Karabakh remains a so-called 'frozen conflict' on the post-Soviet space, as the region is the subject of a dispute between Azerbaijan and the local Armenian population that draws on strong support from fellow-countrymen in neighboring Armenia.
In 1988, hostilities broke out there between the forces reporting to the government in Baku and Armenian residents, which resulted in the region's de facto independence.
In 1994 a ceasefire was reached but the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain strained ever since then.
Russia, France and the U.S. co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which attempts to broker an end to hostilities and the conflict.