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Armenia, Azerbaijan exchange first prisoners after war

Armenia and Azerbaijan have begun exchanging groups of prisoners of war.

It's part of an "all for all" swap mediated by Russia after a bloody conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, Russia's defense ministry said on Tuesday.

The six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the region and surrounding areas was brought to a halt by a Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal last month.

The fighting locked in territorial gains for Azerbaijan - stoking anger in Yerevan and protests against Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Russian peacekeeping forces have deployed to the region.

Late on Monday, Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said 44 Armenian prisoners had returned to Armenia after Russian mediation, according to the Interfax news agency.

A Russian military aircraft also flew a group of 12 Azeri prisoners to Baku as part of the same swap, according to the commander of Russia's peacekeeping forces.

Azeri authorities confirmed their arrival.

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