Azerbaijan hands over 10 captured soldiers to Armenia

FILE PHOTO: An Azeri soldier walks past an Armenian military truck which was seized by the Azerbaijan army during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the city of Barda, Azerbaijan October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

BAKU(Reuters) - Azerbaijan handed over 10 captured Armenian soldiers to Armenia on Saturday in return for maps detailing the location of landmines in the Karabakh region as part of an exchange mediated by Russia, Baku said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire at their border on Nov. 16 after Russia urged them to step back from confrontation following the deadliest clash since a war last year.

Armenia had asked Moscow to help defend it after the worst fighting since a 44-day war last year between ethnic Armenian forces and the Azeri army over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave that killed at least 6,500 people.

In a statement on Saturday, Azerbaijain's State Security Service said it had handed over 10 Armenian soldiers who were detained on Nov. 16 and that Russia had played a mediation role.

Armenia's Armenpress media outlet confirmed late on Saturday the names of 10 Armenian prisoners of war who had been handed over after being captured on Nov. 16.

(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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