Kazakhstan, Astana, 25 February /corr. Trend K.Konirova / On 25 February the 16th anniversary of tragic events in Azerbaijan's city of Khojali was marked in Astana at Azerbaijan's Embassy in Kazakhstan.
"On the night of 25 to 26 February 1992 the Azerbaijani settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh, Khojali, was occupied by Armenian separatists, with active participation of military personnel and army tanks of the 366th regiment of the Russian army. In a matter of several hours, more than 600 unarmed Azerbaijani citizens, including 106 women and 83 children, were brutally killed," said Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Latif Gandilov, said in the opening of the event.
Later the Imam of the Azerbaijani diasporas in Astana, Hashim Agayev, read a prayer in memory of the people killed on that bloody day. Remembering those events, he said that he was one of the eyewitnesses. During that time, he was serving in the soviet Army, but after those bloody events, he came to defend his Native Land.
Later a documentary film was shown depicting the tragic events.
The Azerbaijani Ambassador said that the terrorist claims of Armenia contrast with all international and good-neighborhood standards.
"Azeri people do not oppose the Armenian people, but they do oppose bloodshed. Azerbaijan supports the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and these events should be remembered forever in memory of our descendant," the diplomat said.
The event was also attended by Vice Interior Minister of Kazakhstan Saylau Serikov's son Lieutenant Colonel of Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry Anatoly Serikov. Saylau Serikov was part of the Governmental delegation who in 1991 left for Khojali city to look into the tension being experienced in the city. On route to Nagorno-Karabakh, the helicopter which carried the MPs, representatives of the Azerbaijan Government and journalists was fired at.
"I remember how before the trip to Nagorno-Karabakh my father was concerned by the situation in Azerbaijan. He had many Azerbaijani friends and he could not believe the events taking place there," Anatoly said. He recalled that after his father's death, on the day of his burial, they received many letters of condolence not only from the military people and Government, but also from ordinary citizens of Azerbaijan. "It touched me and I promise that I will do my very best to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Anatoly Serikov said.
The event in the Embassy was attended be scientists, journalists, diplomats, representative of Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry and journalists.
Currently Azerbaijani diasporas in Astana comprise of 5,000 people.