BAKU — Azerbaijan has revealed the number of casualties sustained by its military personnel during the recent 44-day war with Armenia over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The Interior Ministry said in a December 3 statement that 2,783 of its soldiers and officers were killed during the conflict, which the ministry described as the Patriotic War, adding that the number included bodies of 103 servicemen who are still being identified via DNA analysis.
According to the statement, more than 100 military personnel remain missing, and 1,245 servicemen wounded during the war — which started on September 27 and ended on November 10 with the restoration of Baku’s control over seven adjacent districts and some parts of the breakaway region — are currently receiving treatment at medical institutions.
On December 2, Armenian Health Ministry officials told RFE/RL that the remains of 2,718 servicemen killed in the war had been examined by medical personnel, adding that the bodies of Azerbaijani soldiers could be among the corpses.
De facto officials of the Nagorno-Karabakh region have said that 1,741 Armenian soldiers and officers killed in the war had been identified so far.
The office of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced on December 3 that November 8, the day when Azerbaijani troops regained control over the key Nagorno-Karabakh city of Susa (Shushi in Armenian), will be marked each year as Victory Day.
A previous proposal to commemorate Victory Day on November 10, the day when the war was ended through a Russia-brokered truce, has been reconsidered as it coincides with the Ataturk Memorial Day in Turkey, the president’s office said. Ankara openly supported Azerbaijan during the war.
Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but the ethnic Armenians who make up most of the population reject Azerbaijani rule.
They have been governing their own affairs, with support from Armenia, since Azerbaijan’s troops and ethnic Azeri civilians were forced out of the region in a war that ended in a cease-fire in 1994.