Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24
On the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the commemoration of the massacre in town of Khojaly of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, has paid tribute to all those who lost their lives in the 1992 atrocity, the OIC said in a message.
The Secretary General reiterated that the Khojaly incident was a result of the illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia. He referred to the Cairo Final Communiqué of the 12th Session of the Islamic Summit and resolutions adopted by previous sessions of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, which considered the actions perpetrated against civilian Azerbaijani population in the occupied Azerbaijani territories as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The Secretary General further reiterated the OIC’s full support to the initiatives and efforts of the Republic of Azerbaijan to put an end to the occupation of its territories and to restore its territorial integrity.
During the Karabakh war, on Feb. 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 many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.