Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Khojaly massacre is the greatest tragedy of the 20th century, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a session of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, TRT Haber TV channel reported on Feb. 25.
Erdogan said the memory of the Khojaly tragedy victims is as dear for Turkey as it is for Azerbaijan.
Turkey has always supported Azerbaijan's position on the issue regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the PM added.
On February 25-26, 1992 Armenian occupation forces together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.
Some 613 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people. A total of 1000 civilians were disabled during the attack.
Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both.
Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostages, while the fate of 150 people remains unknown.
Following withdrawal of the 366th infantry regiment from the city of Khankendi, its military equipment, mostly went to the Armenian separatists.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.