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Baku says Azerbaijan, Armenia exchange bodies of killed servicemen

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry expressed its gratitude to Russian counterparts for organizing the humanitarian action

BAKU, November 14. /TASS/. Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanged the bodies of servicemen killed in the battles around the town of Shusha in Nagorno-Karabakh, the press office of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.

"With the mediation and the participation of the Russian peacekeeping forces stationed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Republic, the bodies of several servicemen killed on the battlefield around the town of Shusha were collected. As part of this humanitarian action, the bodies of servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were gathered and transferred to the Armenian side," the press office said in a statement.

"Also, the bodies of six servicemen of the Azerbaijani army killed there during the battles were received as part of this action," the statement says.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry expressed its gratitude to Russian counterparts and personally to Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for organizing the humanitarian action.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a full ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. As the Russian leader said, Azerbaijani and Armenian forces will remain at their current positions while Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to the region.