BAKU, Azerbaijan

A total of 2,783 Azerbaijani soldiers were martyred in the Upper Karabakh war waged by the army to liberate its lands from the Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

Detailing the casualties of the 44-day war that started on Sept. 27 and ended on Nov. 10 when the two sides signed a Russian-brokered cease-fire deal, the ministry said 1,245 soldiers were also injured during the war.

Some 103 martyred soldiers have yet to be identified and efforts are ongoing for DNA analyses, it said, adding over 100 soldiers remain missing and a search is underway to locate them.

Relations between the ex-Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.

On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing in line with the agreement.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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