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Azerbaijan hands back 10 Armenian soldiers held hostage since November

AZERBAIJAN returned 10 Armenian soldiers who had been held as hostages since border clashes on November 16 today.

The service personnel were handed over following European Union-mediated negotiations, the Azeri state commission for prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons confirmed.

“In order to manifest its commitment to the principles of humanism, Azerbaijan through the EU handed over 10 Armenian servicemen to [their homeland] on December 19,” it said.

The soldiers “were apprehended while preventing the provocation by the Armenian forces on the Kalbajar direction on November 16, 2021,” the commission claimed.

Yerevan denies the Azeri claims, insisting that Azerbaijan’s military began an advance into Armenian territory threatening a major highway that links the capital with the country’s southern regions and Iran.

War raged between the two nations over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory last year, with a ceasefire mediated by Russia bringing the conflict to an end. 

Turkey was accused of supplying thousands of jihadist mercenaries to boost the Azeri forces and its drones were credited for swinging the outcome in favour of Baku.

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