U.S. regrets civilian deaths in Khojali
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 20/ Trend , E. Rustamov/
The U.S. regrets the deaths of Azerbaijani civilians in Khojali and said the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved peacefully.
"The U.S. condemns all attacks on civilians and regrets the terrible loss of humanity during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, specifically in Khojali," U.S. Embassy Public Relations Office head Terry Davidson told Trend on Feb. 20.
On the night of Feb. 25, 1992, Armenian separatists seized the Khojali settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh. Within hours, over 600 unarmed Azerbaijani citizens were killed. Among them were 106 women and 83 children. The massacre continued for days, while the Armenian separatists killed their hostages and cut the heads off of Azerbaijani military personnel. A total of 487 people were left disabled and 1,275 people were taken prisoner. The fate of 150 people remains unknown.
Davidson said the conflict must be resolved peacefully to prevent new civilian deaths.
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 7 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 the peace negotiations.
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