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Bodies Of Slain Azerbaijani Troops Retrieved 48 Hours After Nagorno-Karabakh Clashes

Baku has removed the bodies of five slain Azerbaijani soldiers from a strip of land between the front lines military of Azerbaijan's military and separatist fighters from the Caucasus country's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The five soldiers were killed on February 25 in the latest clashes near Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said on February 27 that the bodies of the soldiers were removed some 48 hours after the clashes with the help of international organizations -- including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Azerbaijan and separatist authorities in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region have traded accusations over who was responsible for the armed clashes along the heavily militarized line of contact.

The separatists' military command said several Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and that separatist forces did not suffer any casualties.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry confirmed that there were clashes during the predawn hours of February 25, but insisted the fighting was triggered by separatist forces.

Armenia-backed separatists seized control of the mainly ethnic-Armenian populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh during the early 1990s in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict during the last 25 years have brought little progress.

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