Nagorno-Karabakh conflict killed 5,000 soldiers

  • Published
Russian peacekeepersImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. File image

For more than six weeks, Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a bloody war, but few details emerged of the true scale of military casualties.

Azerbaijan made significant territorial gains but gave no casualty numbers, while Armenia said last month it had counted 2,425 dead soldiers.

Now Azerbaijan says 2,783 of its forces died in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and another 100 are missing in action.

It brings to over 5,000 the number of soldiers confirmed to have died.

At least 143 civilians were also killed on both sides and tens of thousands more were displaced by the fighting.

The war broke out between the two former Soviet republics in late September. The two countries had never resolved the territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but under the control of neighbouring Armenia.

The violence came to an end with a Moscow-brokered agreement for Armenian forces to pull out of three areas of Azerbaijani territory in and around Karabakh, and for 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to be deployed.

What do we know?

Three weeks after the end of the war, the defence ministry in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, has for the first time given details of the servicemen killed in the conflict.

Media caption,

This family is one of many still waiting for news about a missing relative

As well as the 2,783 soldiers killed between 27 September and 10 November, more than 100 soldiers were missing in action and DNA tests were being carried out to identify 103 bodies, Turan news agency reported.

Another 1,245 wounded soldiers were being treated in hospital, the ministry said. Reports from Baku say a victory parade is being planned for 10 December.

Media caption,

Zamin Bandaliyev was injured in an Armenian attack on an Azerbaijani town

Families on both sides are still waiting to hear news of missing relatives.

During the conflict, Armenian officials gave regular details of their military casualties but also made uncorroborated claims about Azerbaijani casualties.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has come under intense pressure from protesters and opposition parties for agreeing the peace deal that left soldiers and civilians leaving three areas.

Seventeen political parties have called for his resignation and for a new prime minister to be appointed.

Russian officials said this week that more than 26,000 refugees had returned to their homes in Karabakh since peacekeepers had been deployed in the so-called Lachin corridor that connects the territory to Armenia.