Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 19
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Former Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutallibov knew that Khojaly genocide would happen, Khanlar Veliyev, Azerbaijan's military prosecutor said Feb. 19.
He made this statement during a presentation of the "Genocide of 1918 against Azerbaijani people" book.
At that time, Azerbaijani Interior Ministry spread information that only two people died during this tragedy, and later the state had to make considerable efforts to prove that 613 people were killed during this tragedy, he said.
"These events started in November of 1991 and continued intensively. They went on in various districts of Karabakh," said Veliyev adding that though they did not have the scale as Khojaly, but dozens of people died, hundreds were wounded.
"On Feb. 16-17, 67 people were killed in Garadagly and a week later Khojaly genocide happened," said Veliyev.
On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian military, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi, committed genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. Among those 613 killed in the massacre, there were 63 children, 106 women and 70 old 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 still remains unknown.
The event became the largest massacre in the course of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The conflict between the 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.
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.