Baku, Azerbaijan, July 24
By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:
Hasan Hasanov, one of the Azerbaijanis, taken hostage by Armenians in Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar region, has been identified by his relatives, Azerbaijani State Committee for Refugees and IDPs said on July 24.
While Hasanov was identified from a photograph, the committee said additional identification materials are required.
Immediately after the capture of Azerbaijanis, the State Committee for Refugees and the Azerbaijani representation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a number of meetings during which the Azerbaijani side expressed concern about the hostages' fate and the lack of information about them.
Moreover, the Azerbaijani side emphasized the importance of the ICRC's activity in getting information about the captured Azerbaijanis and the need for intensification of activities in this regard, the committee said.
As a result of these activities, the ICRC managed to get several photographs of Hasan Hasanov, who according to the Armenian media, was killed by the Armenian servicemen in Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar region.
Azerbaijani State Committee for Refugees and IDPs said that after reviewing the photographs, Hasanov's relatives identified him.
At the same time, ICRC held negotiations with the Armenian side on handing over Hasanov's body to his relatives. However, the opposite side stated that additional supporting materials are needed to identify the body.
Azerbaijani president tightly controls the activities to organize the meeting of ICRC representatives with the Azerbaijanis taken hostage by Armenians (Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev), as well as to return the body of Hasan Hasanov, according to the committee.
Earlier, Armenian media reported that the Armenian forces, during an operation in the occupied Kalbajar District's Shaplar village, killed an Azerbaijani - Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis - Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. They also reported about the launching of criminal cases against the detained Azerbaijanis.
Armenian media also reported that one Armenian officer was killed and his wife was wounded during the capture of Azerbaijanis.
On July 15, the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People said the fate of Azerbaijani citizens taken hostages in the Kalbajar District, is its priority.
Ilaha Huseynova told Trend on July 16 that the families of Azerbaijanis, taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar, have officially appealed to the ICRC.
She added that currently the ICRC continues talks with the parties on this matter.
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry dismissed the Armenian media reports on affiliation of the mentioned persons to the country's armed forces.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN