16th Anniversary of Horrific Massacre of 20th Century – Khojali Tragedy

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 26 February 2008 13:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 26 February / Trend corr S. Ilhamgizi / Sixteen years passed since the tragedy which was committed by the Armenians in the Azerbaijani Khojali town.

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. The annihilation of the peaceful people continued for several days during which time the Armenians executed and killed prisoners, committed violence against women and children, cut off the heads of Azerbaijani military prisoners and had them hung up. During this crime, 487 people, including 76 juveniles were physically disabled and 1,275 people were taken prisoner. Despite the release of most of the prisoners, the fate of 150 people is still unknown.

According to reports from those Khojali residents who are still alive, during the evening military vehicles and armoured troop carriers were driving just on the Khojali residents and the Armenians fired point-blank at old people, women and children. They excoriated the captives, pulled their nails out, and tortured even the dead victims, removing their eyes and cutting their ears off.

French journalist Jean Ive Yunet: "We happened to be witnesses at the Khojali massacre; we saw the dead, hundreds of bodies of civilians - women, children, old people and defenders of Khojali. It was a terrible scene. I had heard a lot about wars, about the cruelty of German fascists, but the Armenians surpassed them.

"Izvestia" Newspaper reporter V. Belikh stated: "...The dead bodies exchanged for living hostages occasionally were brought to Agdam. You won't experience it even in a nightmare: pierced out eyes, cut off ears, heads scalped or cut off. A number of corpses were dragged by ropes by the armed personnel carriers. There was no limit to their humiliation.

Sunday Times: "Armenian soldiers annihilated hundreds families".

Washington Post: "...The corpses of seven dead men were shown today, two of them children and three women. 120 refugees are in Agdam hospital, many bodies are stabbed."

Le Monde: "Foreign journalists in Agdam saw three scalped corpses with nails pulled out among women and children killed in Khojali. This is not Azerbaijan propaganda but reality."

Times: "Many people were mutilated, and only the head of one little girl remained."

Outrage by both the living and the dead was also confirmed by the Russian human rights centre "Memorial", which registered the fact of scalping people alive, and have made investigations to find out the cause of the massive death of the Khojali residents.

The Azerbaijani Parliament made a political assessment to the Khojali massacre and recognized it as genocide.