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In February 1992, an unprecedented genocide was committed against the Azerbaijani population in the town of Khojaly. This bloody tragedy, which became known as the Khojaly genocide, involved the extermination or the capture of thousands of Azerbaijanis; the town was razed to the ground. Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenian armed forces with the help of the infantry guards regiment № 366 of the former USSR implemented the seizure of Khojaly. The inhabitants of Khojaly remained in the town before the tragic night (about 2,500 people) tried to leave their houses after the beginning of the assault in the hope to find the way to the nearest place populated by the Azerbaijanis. But these plans have failed. Invaders destroyed Khojaly and with particular brutality implemented carnage over its peaceful population.

Brutal annihilation of hundreds of defenseless inhabitants of Khojaly was one of the most heinous crimes during the armed conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Armenian armed forces spared virtually none of those who had been unable to flee Khojaly and the surrounding area. As a result, 613 persons were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people. 1,275 inhabitants were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 persons remains unknown to this day. In the course of the tragedy 487 inhabitants of Khojaly were severely maimed, including 76 children not yet of age. 6 families were completely wiped out, 26 children lost both parents, and 130 children one of their parents. Of those who perished, 56 persons were killed with especial cruelty: by burning alive, scalping, beheading, gouging out of eyes, and bayoneting of pregnant women in the abdomen.

Intentional slaughter of the Khojaly town civilians on 25-26 February 1992, including children, elderly and women, was directed at their mass extermination only because they were Azerbaijanis. The Khojaly town was chosen as a stage for further occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijani territories, striking terror into the hearts of people and creating panic and fear before the horrifying genocide.

The Khojaly massacre took place in a period of time when the current president of Armenia Serzh Sarksyan served as head of the Nagorno Karabakh illegal separatist regime’s army. The folowing words of Serzh Sargsyan which he told to British journalist Thomas de Waal leave no doubts as to the question of the perpetrators of the crimes in Khojaly: “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype. And that’s what happened.”

Among the eyewitneses of Khojaly massacre, there were a lot of foreign journalist which represented such famous journals as the Independent, Washington post, Times, Le Monde and so on. Most of newspapers and journals all over the world had written articles about massacre in Khojaly.

 

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