Azerbaijan says 193 people killed in Karabakh offensive

Nagorno-Karabakh (AFP): Azerbaijan said on Wednesday that 192 of its soldiers and one civilian died in its lightning offensive last week against ethnic Armenian separatists in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

The Azerbaijani health ministry said that more than 500 Azerbaijani troops were also wounded in the one-day operation that ended with a rebel pledge to disarm.

The combined death toll from the offensive now stands at more than 400 people.

Armenian separatists have revised up their number of fighters and civilians killed to 213.

The 24-hour blitz ended in a truce deal last Wednesday that could potentially end a conflict that has raged — off and on — for more than three decades.

A brutal post-Soviet war in the 1990s during which the separatists made their gains in the Azerbaijani enclave claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Azerbaijan clawed back a part of that territory in a six-week offensive three years ago during which several thousand were killed on both sides.

Armenian separatists and Azerbaijani officials are now discussing the region’s “reintegration” at Russian-mediated talks.