Azerbaijan says 2,783 soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh clashes

For the first time, Baku announces military death toll from six weeks of fighting over region.

Azerbaijani soldiers hold national flags as they celebrate the transfer of the Lachin region to Azerbaijan's control, as part of a peace deal that required Armenian forces to cede the Azerbaijani territories they held outside Nagorno-Karabakh [Emrah Gurel/AP]

Azerbaijan has said that 2,783 of its soldiers were killed during its conflict with ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and that more than 100 of its troops were still missing.

Azerbaijan had until Thursday not disclosed any of its military losses in the conflict that erupted on September 27 and came to a halt on November 10 when a Russian-brokered peace deal ushered in a ceasefire.

Swaths of territory in Nagorno-Karabakh previously controlled by ethnic Armenians were handed over to Azerbaijan, whose forces had captured territory including areas that Baku lost in an earlier war in the 1990s.

Armenia has not yet disclosed a final death toll for its military, but an ethnic Armenian official confirmed on November 14 that 2,317 soldiers had been killed.

Dozens of civilians from both sides also died during the conflict, which saw Azerbaijan and Armenia accused of using cluster munitions in civilian areas.

In a separate development, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would visit Ankara’s staunch ally, Azerbaijan, on December 9 and 10.

The planned visit is the first by a foreign head of state to Baku since the ceasefire.

Ankara announced on Tuesday that Turkey and Russia have agreed to monitor the Karabakh truce from a joint peacekeeping centre.

Last month, the Turkish parliament voted to deploy a mission to set up the centre with Russia, while Moscow has insisted that Turkey will have no troops on the ground under the terms of the truce deal.

Turkish officials have said the centre will be established in an area designated by Azerbaijan.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies