04:00 GMT19 January 2021
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    A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed in the disputed region after Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a joint statement to mutually cease the hostilities that had been taking place in Karabakh since the end of September 2020.

    A mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh has left one Azerbaijani soldier dead, as well as one Russian peacekeeper and four members of the local emergency services injured, Russia’s Defence Ministry has stated.

    "The explosion took place in the vicinity of Madagiz village […] The Russian serviceman has been transported to a hospital in Baku, where he is currently receiving medical attention. His wounds are not life threatening", the ministry said.

    The dead and the injured were part of a joint team that was tasked with finding and recovering the bodies of servicemen killed in action during the hostilities, which erupted in the region in September.

    Truce After Over Month of Battles in Karabakh

    The work to recover the bodies of killed soldiers began after Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia signed a joint statement on 9 November putting an end to the hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Under the provisions of the document, Russia deployed peacekeeper forces to the positions previously held by Armenia in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). They were also stationed in the Lachin corridor, which connects the NKR's capital Stepanakert with Armenia.

    Yerevan and the NKR agreed to cede several regions of Karabakh to Azerbaijan as a part of the declaration, with a total of 121 settlements falling under Baku's control. In addition, the sides agreed to ensure the safe return of internally displaced people who left their homes when the conflict, which first emerged in the late 1980s, reignited on 27 September 2020. The process will also be observed by the Russian peacekeeper contingent.

    The conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region re-emerged in September after Azerbaijan and the NKR, supported by Yerevan, accused each other of violating the truce negotiated back in 1994. The 1994 truce was reached after a bloody war over the mostly ethnic Armenian-populated region, which wound up as part of Azerbaijan following the dissolution of the USSR. As a result of the war Azerbaijan, lost most of Karabakh, calling it Armenian-occupied territory, and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was established, which, however, was never recognised.


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    Azerbaijan, Russia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Nagorny Karabakh
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