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YEREVAN, AUGUST 30, ARMENPRESS: A state commission in Nagorno-Karabakh, set up to deal with prisoners of war, missing persons and hostages said some 800 residents of Nagorno-Karabakh are deemed still missing since the war with Azerbaijan in early 1990-s.

Viktor Kocharian, head of the commission, said to Armenpress that was not the exact number as there is little information about how many Armenians from the Shahumian region of Azerbaijan are missing. He said members of the commission are meeting with former residents of that region to learn if they have missing family members.

Deputy foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh Masis Mailian told Armenpress no prisoners of war are held in Karabakh. He said sometimes Azeri soldiers cross the line of contact into Armenian-controlled territory. But he said the International Committee of Red Cross is notified about this sort of incidents which helps to repatriate soldiers.

A senior official of the Council of Europe, Leo Platvoit, who deals with PoWs and missing persons and heads a PACE ad hoc committee is due to visit Karabakh in September. The official visited already Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan and is expected to have his report prepared early next year.

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