Russian serviceman killed in Nagorno-Karabakh while dismantling landmine

FILE PHOTO: Service members of the Russian peacekeeping troops stand next to a tank near the border with Armenia, following the signing of a deal to end the military conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces, in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Francesco Brembati

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian serviceman was killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region when he was demining a road, the defence ministry said on Friday, Russian news agencies reported.

He is the first casualty among Russian peacekeepers who were dispatched to the region last month after a ceasefire agreement signed on Nov. 10 ended three months of heavy fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces.

Interfax news agency said the officer had died on his way to hospital from heavy wounds after a mine exploded near Nagorno-Karabakh’s second city Shushi, which Azeris call Shusha.

The enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is populated by ethnic Armenians. Some 2,000 Russian peacekeeping troops are now being deployed to the region.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Gareth Jones