BAKU 

Azerbaijan and Armenia on Saturday exchanged the bodies of soldiers, who died in the clashes around the city of Susha in Upper Karabakh region, the Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry said the bodies of soldiers were collected through the intermediary and participation of the Russian peacekeeping forces stationed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

“As part of this humanitarian action, the bodies of the dead servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were collected and handed over to the Armenian side,” said the statement.

“Also, within the framework of this action, the bodies of six servicemen of the Azerbaijan Army, who became Shehids (martyrs) during the battles around the Shusha city, were received.”

The statement also expressed gratitude to Russia’s Defense Ministry and Sergei Shiogu, the Russian defense minister, for organizing the humanitarian action.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia 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.

Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and the Armenian army continued its attacks on civilian and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements for 44 days.

Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time.

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

Turkey welcomed the truce, terming it a “great victory” for Azerbaijan.

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