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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the daily digest of Armenia-related top news as of 20.10.21:

  • The plane transporting five Armenian prisoners of war from Baku to Armenia landed at Erebuni Airport in Yerevan a few minutes ago, Sputnik Armenia reports.

Among the returning captives are Mels Ambardanyan, Rafik Karapetyan, Zhora Manukyan, Sedrak Soghomonyan and Hovsep Manukyan.

On July 23, the court of Baku sentenced three of them, including Rafik Karapetyan, Sedrak Soghomonyan and Mels Ambardanyan, to six years of imprisonment under a strict regime.

On that day, another 10 Armenian prisoners of war were sentenced to imprisonment.

Former commander of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), army general Rustam Muradov is also with the Armenian prisoners of war, and the previous groups of Armenian POWs returned to Armenia through his mediation.

The last time prisoners of war were returned was on September 7, and they were Artur Nalbandyan and Aramayis Torozyan, who were captured on July 14, 2021 in the territory of Sev Lake of Syunik Province; in exchange, Azerbaijani soldier Jamil Babayev, who was found and detained in one of the houses in the city of Martakert of Artsakh, was transferred to the Azerbaijani side.

  • The head of the State Security Service of Azerbaijan and chairman of the country’s State Commission for Servicemen, Prisoners of War and Missing Persons, Ali Nagiyev, received a delegation led by vice president Gilles Carbonnier of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Azerbaijani media reported.

"It was stressed that taking into account the new realities in the region, the visits by the ICRC representatives to the Azerbaijan territories which are temporarily under the control of Russian peacekeepers, are possible only through the territory of Azerbaijan and not Armenia," the Azerbaijani media added.

The phrase "Azerbaijan territories which are temporarily under the control of Russian peacekeepers" presumably refers to Artsakh, and “through the territory of Azerbaijan”—the Lachin corridor which actually connects Armenia and Artsakh.

  • As of January 1, the water tariff in Armenia may increase by 20 drams (about $0.042) to about 200 drams (about $0.42) per cubic meter.

According to Garegin Baghramyan Chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), this change will not refer to the socially disadvantaged segment—about 100 thousand people— of Armenia’s population, and their water tariff will remain at 180 drams (about $0.38) per cubic meter.

  • Ten people were injured and five people killed in Wednesday morning’s passenger van accident.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES), a passenger van had gone off road on the motorway and overturned.

As a result, there are 5 dead, and 10 injured have been hospitalized.

  • As of Wednesday morning, 2,066 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Armenia, and the total number of these cases has reached 286,303 in the country, Armenian News-NEWS.am has learned from the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also, 28 more deaths from COVID-19 were registered, making the respective total 5,870 cases.

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