mercredi 20 février 2008

Massacres of KHOJALY



on the 16th anniversary of Khojaly Genocide by Armenian regular troops

On February 25-26, 1992 the Armenian Army captured the Azeri town of Khojaly in northern Karabagh. Over 800 civilians were butchered in cold blood.

One of the most heinous crimes against the Azerbaijani people was the massacre of hundreds of defenceless inhabitants of the town Khojaly, in the Nagorno Karabakh region of the Azerbaijan, which was taken by Armenian troops on the night of February 25-26, 1992. Human Rights Watch described the events in Khojaly as “the largest massacre to date in the conflict”.

Khojaly is an Azerbaijani town strategically located on the Agdam – Shusha and Hankendi – Askeran roads in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The town's population was over 7,000 people.

The Armenian armed forces and mercenary units spared virtually none of those who had been unable to flee Khojaly and the surrounding area. Dozens upon dozens of children between 2 and 15 years old, women and old people, in most cases shot at point-blank range in the head. The position of the bodies indicated that the people had been killed in cold blood, calculatedly, without any sign of a struggle or of having tried to escape. Some had been taken aside and shot separately; many had been killed as entire families at once. Some corpses displayed several wounds, one of which was invariably in the head, suggesting that the wounded were executed. Some children were found with severed ears; the skin had been cut from the left side of an elderly woman's face; and men had been scalped. There were corpses that had clearly been robbed. The first time the foreign journalists arrived at the scene of the shootings of February 28, accompanied by two military helicopters, they saw from the air an open area about one kilometre across which was filled with corpses almost everywhere.

Late on February 25 the city was under the intensive fire from the town Khankendi and Askeran. The airport and neighbouring houses were destroyed. More then 150 people defending the airport were killed by sporadic artillery shelling of regiment No 366. The next day, on February 26 the fire shooting grew heavier and fiercer. After powerful artillery shelling Armenian bandits launched a massive attack. Armoured vehicles of regiment No 366 were in the first row of the attackers. Armenian armed bandit units followed them. The Armenian armed men backed by armoured vehicles killed the civilian defenders of the districts and houses. The most valuable property and personal possessions were loaded onto the trucks and taken away towards the town of Khankendi.

The occupation of Khojaly was followed with unprecedented brutalities against the civilian population. In a few hours the aggressors killed 613 innocent and unarmed people. Among them were 106 women, 83 children. 56 people were killed with special brutality. 8 families were totally exterminated. 25 children were totally, and 130 children were partly orphaned. 476 people became disabled persons (of them 76 were minors). 1275 people were taken into hostage and even though afterwards most of the hostages were released from captivity, the fate of 150 of them are still unknown. The event had sparked the exodus of Azerbaijanis from their historic lands. More than ten years have passed and the world is still oblivious to the suffering caused by the Armenian aggression against the Azerbaijan Republic. As the result of ethnic cleansing in Karabagh, and other territories occupied by Armenians, some 1,000,000 people have been expelled from their homes and are forced to live in tent-camps and railway carriages…

The massacre of Khojaly set a pattern of destruction and ethnic cleansing methodically carried out by the Armenian armed forces. On November 29, 1993, “Newsweek” quoted a senior US Government official as saying: "What we see now is a systematic destruction of every village in their way. It's vandalism."

Every year religious leaders of Azerbaijan; Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities of the republic issue appeals on the eve of the commemoration of the massacre of Khojaly. The religious leaders of Azerbaijan of diverse communities stated their rejection of extremism and policy of ethnic cleansing conducted by Armenia, urging the international community to condemn and facilitate liberation of the territories occupied by Armenian troops.

On behalf of the Azerbaijanis living in Europe the “European Azerbaijanian Centre” (EAC) calls upon the United Nations, the European Community and all the international organizations to condemn the massacre of Khojaly - the genocide of the innocent Azerbaijani population of Khojaly by the Armenian regular troops - and to render the juridical and political assessments to condemn the guilty persons for this crime against humanity.


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