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Armenian PM Says Almost 3,800 Soldiers Killed In War With Azerbaijan

Updated

The prime minister's presentation was briefly interrupted by a scuffle in parliament.

YEREVAN -- A total of 3,773 Armenian servicemen were killed during the 44-day war with Azerbaijan last autumn, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said in giving the first official military death toll in the conflict over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Speaking to lawmakers on August 24 to introduce the government's new five-year plan, Pashinian said that the fate of another 243 soldiers remained unknown, while some prisoners had yet to return home.

Pashinian's presentation to the National Assembly was marred briefly when the chamber's speaker reprimanded an opposition lawmaker, Anna Mkrtchian, for calling Pashinian "defeatist" and then ordered security guards to remove her. The lawmaker briefly scuffled and wrestled with the guards.

Pashinian added that thousands were displaced as a result of the fighting, causing "extraordinary" socioeconomic damage as part of the "severe consequences" of the war.

Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan, but the territory and some surrounding areas have been controlled by ethnic Armenian forces since the early 1990s.

The two sides have skirmished regularly over the years, but in September 2020, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive that resulted in Baku regaining control of the surrounding districts, and much of Nagorno-Karabakh itself.

The sides agreed to a Russian-brokered cease-fire in early November 2020, resulting in the deployment of 2,000 Russian peacekeeping forces to the conflict zone.

Azerbaijan has reported 2,783 of its soldiers were killed in the fighting.

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