Thousands of Azerbaijanis mark Khojaly Massacre / PHOTO

The pain of the massacre in which Armenian forces murdered 613 civilians in Khojaly during the 1992 Nagorno- Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains fresh.

Thousands of Azerbaijanis mark Khojaly Massacre / PHOTO

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of Azerbaijanis flocked to the Azerbaijan capital of Baku for the 21st anniversary of the Khojaly massacre to visit the "Khojaly Martyrs” Monument.

The martyrdom memorial was first visited by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and other officials.

Visitors from Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan formed long lines before the martyrdom memorial.

During the visit, which was accompanied by Qur’anic recitation, the Monument was adorned with red carnations.

Relatives of those killed in the massacre, some of whose graves have not even been found, were in tears and kissed the names of the martyrs while trying to find consolation.

A group of Azerbaijanis reminded others of the petition, for which 100 thousand signatures are needed, for the White House website  to recognize the Khojaly massacre as "genocide"  and for and President Barack Obama to issue an opinion on the matter. A banner requested that Obama not delay in issuing an opinion.

A group of youths, with Turkish and Azerbaijani flags and Ataturk posters, chanted slogans of “Justice for Khojaly.”

What happened in Khojaly?

Towards the end of 1991, Armenian forces blockaded Khojaly, a town with an area of 936 square kilometers which was home to 2605 families and a total of 11 thousand 356 people. After occupying Stepanakert, the capitol city of Nagorno-Karabakh, in December 1991, the next target of the Armenian forces was the capture of Khojaly, which had the region’s only airport and was of strategic importance.

When Armenian forces shot on January 28, 1992 the helicopter which made Shusha-Agdam journeys, the helicopter transport through which Khojaly connected with other regions was destroyed. In this case, 44 civilians lost their lives, mostly women and children.

With its electrical energy cut since the beginning of January, Khojaly’s only defense were the  local defense forces equipped with small arms and a minor number of national army soldiers. Starting on February 25 1992, the Armenian forces attacked the town with all the equipment they found in the regional Soviet Army’s 366th Armored Regiment for two straight hours. One day after the attack, the "Khojaly Massacre" occurred.

According to official data, a total of total 613 Azerbaijani citizens lost their lives, including 106 women and 83 children. While 487 wounded people survived the massacre, the Armenian forces took hostage 1 thousand 275 others. 150 of them were not heard from. For many years the prisoners of war were used as slaves hidden from international institutions. There was even news that the captive women were forced into prostitution. 

Last Mod: 26 Şubat 2013, 13:11
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