Azerbaijan hands over 15 Armenian prisoners in return for minefield maps

BAKU, July 3 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan handed over 15 prisoners of Armenian origin to Armenia on Saturday in return for maps detailing the locations of 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said.

Ethnic Armenian and Azeri forces fought a bloody conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave last year that locked in territorial gains for Azerbaijan and was eventually brought to a halt by a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

In a statement on Saturday, Azerbaijan said that mediation by Moscow had helped it to obtain minefield maps from Armenia covering areas in the Fizuli and Zangilan regions in Nagorno-Karabakh.

It said it had released and handed over prisoners of Armenian origin who had served their sentences. It gave no details of who they were.

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Reporting by Nailia Bagirova in Baku and Anastasia Teterevleva in Moscow; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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