Turkish president expresses condolences to Azerbaijanis in connection with Khojaly tragedy
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to the Azerbaijani people in connection with the Khojaly tragedy, the TRT Haber news channel reported Feb. 25.
"In 1992, our Azerbaijani brothers were burned in the city of Khojaly in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. We honor the bright memory of martyrs and express our condolences to the Azerbaijani people," Erdogan said.
Conflict between 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.
On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed 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.
As a result of the massacre, 613 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 elderly people. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people remains unknown.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN