Azerbaijan hands over 10 more captured soldiers to Armenia

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.

Ethnic Armenian soldiers gather at their fighting positions near the village of Taghavard in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, January 11, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/ARTEM MIKRYUKOV)
Ethnic Armenian soldiers gather at their fighting positions near the village of Taghavard in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, January 11, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ARTEM MIKRYUKOV)

Azerbaijan handed over 10 captured Armenian soldiers to Armenia on Sunday for the second time this month following talks last week between both sides and European Council President Charles Michel, the two countries 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 Russia to help defend itself 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.

An Azeri soldier inspects the city of Cebrayil, where Azeri forces regained control during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, October 16, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS)An Azeri soldier inspects the city of Cebrayil, where Azeri forces regained control during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, October 16, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS)

In a statement, Azerbaijan's State Security Service said it had handed over 10 Armenian soldiers who were detained on Nov. 16. It also released 10 soldiers earlier in December. On that occasion, Russia played the mediation role.

Armenia's Armenpress media outlet published the names of the second group of 10 prisoners of war handed over, citing Vahan Hunanyan, the Armenian foreign ministry's press secretary.