Azerbaijan, Armenia exchange bodies killed in clashes

Azerbaijani Defence Ministry announces agreement with Armenian-backed militia in occupied Karabakh region on exchange of bodies killed in recent clashes

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A militia of the occupied Karabakh carries weapons, April 4, 2016.

Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have agreed on an exchange of bodies of those killed in recent clashes on the borders of occupied Karabakh, officials said.

In a statement released late on Thursday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said both sides had agreed to reinstate a cease-fire so the remains of soldiers could be exchanged through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the International Red Cross.

Fighting over the past week has seen 271 military personnel killed according to the ministry - 31 Azerbaijanis and 240 Armenians.

Azerbaijan announced a unilateral suspension of operations on Sunday, having reclaimed land occupied by Armenian forces.

Karabakh was seized by ethnic Armenian militias in the early 1990s before a peace deal in 1994. The enclave is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory.

The warring parties on Tuesday agreed a ceasefire after four days of shelling and artillery strikes which killed dozens. The truce has largely held, though both sides have reported some violations.

TRTWorld, AA