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Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on short truce

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a temporary truce on Friday following 12 days of mortal fighting over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The ceasefire was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov soon before midnight Moscow time after 11-hour talks involving both nations in the Russian capital.

The temporary cessation of hostilities would be to begin at midday local time (10:00 CET) on Saturday allowing for the exchange of prisoners as well as the retrieval of dead bodies.

Lavrov also said that the 2 parties will”begin meaningful discussions to attain a peaceful settlement when possible.”

Sporadic episodes of violence have taken place.

The inland region is located in Azerbaijan but is commanded by ethnic Armenians endorsed by Armenia.

Violence between the two former Soviet countries erupted back on September 27 with both sides blaming each other for the most recent flare-up — that the worst in years.

At least 400 people have been murdered in the fighting and half of the area’s population — roughly 70,000 — have been homeless.

The International Committee of the Red Cross — that will aid both sides throughout the temporary ceasefire — said earlier that week”countless infrastructure such as schools and hospitals” have been destroyed or damaged from heavy artillery.