Individuals who were killed in a massacre committed by Armenian forces on February 25 and 26, 1992 in Khojali (Hocali) town of Upper Karabakh are being remembered in Azerbaijan on Friday.
Official ceremonies in Baku began with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's laying of a wreath at a monument erected in honor of those killed in the Khojali massacre.
Special events will take place throughout the day to remember Azerbaijanis killed by Armenians in Khojali. Within this framework, a ceremony will take place at the Turkish Embassy in Baku in honor of the killed Azerbaijanis.
The clashes began when Armenia demanded territory from Azerbaijan at the late period of the former USSR.
The clashes turned into a war when both countries gained independence.
Armenian forces began invading Azerbaijani soil with the support of Russian troops stationed in Armenia.
During the invasion, Azerbaijani Turks were butchered and massacred.
According to Azerbaijani sources, the Russian 366th motorized regiment extended support to Armenian forces and the Armenians entered the town of Khojali with heavy weapons on February 25, 1992.
Armenian troops, in an extremely wild fashion, massacred many without having any mercy for the elderly or children. Those who survived the massacre testified about the massacre committed by Armenians. While the population of Khojali was around 10,000, the population dropped to around 4,000 after the Armenian massacre.
It was on February 28 when a group of journalists on board arrived at the scene only to be shocked by the real extent of the massacre. They had arrived there in order to collect the dead bodies, even though they ran the risk of being shot. Corpses were scattered all around the area. Gruesome scenes of people shot dead in the head, eyes pulled out, disassembled body parts, and those being beheaded and crushed under heavy tanks were everywhere.
Armenians killed a total of 613 people, 63 children and 106 women, in the Khojali massacre. The massacre killed 70 families. 1,275 Azerbaijanis were either taken as prisoners or have been reported as missing.
During the massacre in the Upper Karabakh, Armenian troops were led by individuals such as former Armenian president Robert Sedraki Kocharyan and current Armenian president Serzh Sargsian.