Pashinyan says 15 soldiers freed by Azerbaijan return to Armenia

TASS – Russia
Armenia’s Acting Prime Minister added that four of the 15 soldiers released by Azerbaijan were from those who were taken prisoner in the Gegharkunik region in May

YEREVAN, June 12. /TASS/. The fifteen soldiers that Azerbaijan handed back to Armenia in exchange for maps of minefields have crossed the Armenian border and returned home, Armenia’s Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Saturday.

"I have just been informed that 15 minutes ago our captured brothers crossed the Armenian border and returned home," Pashinyan told his supported in the city of Gavar.

Pashinyan added that four of the 15 soldiers released by Azerbaijan on Saturday were from those who were taken prisoner in the Gegharkunik region in May.

Earlier in the day, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry reported that 15 Armenian military personnel had returned to Armenia in exchange for maps of 97,000 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines planted in the Aghdam region. The ministry added that the exchange took place on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border in the presence of Georgian representatives.

On May 27, Azerbaijan reported that six Armenian soldiers had been taken captive while they were attempting to cross the border for an act of sabotage. Yerevan confirmed this fact, but emphasized that the troops were engaged in the engineering work in the border area of Armenia’s Gegharkunik region.

After the end of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh last autumn, Baku regained control of seven areas adjacent to Karabakh, including the Aghdam region, in accordance with the November 10 trilateral agreement. Demining of the areas affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains a major post-war issue for Baku and Yerevan.

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