Karabakh: Conflicting parties exchange bodies of soldiers killed in skirmishes

Nagorno-Karabakh’s state commission on prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons on Sunday participated in an exchange of bodies with the Azerbaijani side near the settlement of Bash Karvend.

The exchange was organized in accordance with an agreement previously reached between the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides through the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the Karabakh Foreign Ministry reported.

It followed a tentative ceasefire agreement reached by the warring side on April 5 after four days of intense fighting in which dozens were killed on both sides.

According to David Babayan, a spokesman for Karabakh’s president, the Armenian side recovered 18 bodies of soldiers in the April 10 exchange.

Meanwhile, a reburial took place in Armenia of its ethnic Yezidi soldier who was killed and decapitated by Azerbaijanis in Karabakh. The gruesome ceremony took place after it became possible for the family of 20-year-old Kyaram Sloyan, who was first buried headless, to recover his severed head.

Pictures of Azerbaijani soldiers holding the Armenian soldier’s severed head caused an outcry in Karabakh and Armenia where Azerbaijan has been accused of committing multiple war crimes during the April 2-5 hostilities, including the slaying of three elderly residents of a northern Karabakh village by its commando forces.