Chilling truth about Khojaly massacre through eyes of former captive

Chilling truth about Khojaly massacre through eyes of former captive

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26


The armed forces of Armenia occupied Khojaly on the night of Feb. 25-26, 1992, after mass shelling, with the help of the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, Durdana Aliyeva, captured by Armenians that night in Khojaly, told Trend.

Aliyeva spoke about the horrors that the people of Khojaly went through.

Having razed Khojaly to the ground, the invaders committed genocide against the civilian population of the city with particular cruelty.

Aliyeva was one of the postal workers in Khojaly. Aliyeva noted that for the first time, Armenians attacked Khojaly on Sept. 18, 1988.

"That day, a wedding was held in Khojaly. Armenians launched an armed attack on the city thinking that the people of Khojaly were busy with celebrations. Men of Khojaly then gave a worthy responnse to the Armenians and forced them to retreat. For four years since then we lived in blockade. But the people of Khojaly did not leave their homes, men wanted to bring their families out of the city, but not a single woman left her house," Durdana Aliyeva said.

She also recalled the events in Khojaly on the night of Feb. 25, 1992.

"Then I was 20 years old. I worked as a postal worker in Khojaly. The city was suddenly bombarded at night. We were told that the Armenians captured the Khojaly airport. In the morning, heavy shelling of the city started again.”

"Bullets were flying all over the place. We crawled to the bridge in Khojaly, where everyone gathered. From there we wanted to cross through the forest to Agdam. It was cold, and we walked in the snow through the forest: all the Khojaly residents – elderly, young and children tried to cross the mountain. I remember a woman who strangled her child so that the Armenians wouldn’t hear the child’s cry. There was a lot of snow, so it was very difficult to walk. Many had frostbitten hands and feet. The children were hungry, they were fed with snow.”

The witness to the tragedy notes that when crossing the Agdam district, they were blocked by Armenians armed with machine guns.

“They shot everyone - old people, women, children,” Aliyeva added. “I was wounded in the leg and I fainted, but when I regained consciousness, I was horrified by what I saw. Blood, corpses were everywhere. Then we were ordered to stand up. Lining us up and making us lay our hands behind our heads, women and men were taken away separately.”

“Women were brought to the police department of the Askeran district,” said the witness. “In front of the police building, Armenian women began to insult and throw stones at us. Then we were thrown into the basement. My brother was taken hostage with me, to another place. There were about 50 women and children in the basement. Women and girls were abused, humiliated and tortured all night.”

Durdana Aliyeva said that on the night of Feb. 27, women were exchanged for gasoline, because the Armenians had no fuel.

She recalled that she was tortured for eight days, kept in an icy cell.

“An Armenian named Karen poured cold water on me and beat me with a chain,” Aliyeva said.

"They forced me to say that “Karabakh belongs to the Armenians” and promised to let me go, but I didn’t say anything, so they were torturing me. Every day I was beaten several times and they demanded me to say this phrase."

After eight days Aliyeva was released with the help of National Hero Allahverdi Baghirov (Baghirov died in 1992).

The general assessment of the causes and results of the war launched by the Armenian side against Azerbaijan and all the existing facts of the tragic events in Khojaly prove that the crimes committed in this Azerbaijani city are not accidental. They were not committed by chance. They are a part of the systematic policy of violence committed by Armenia. The targeted massacre of Khojaly civilians was aimed at their mass extermination because they were Azerbaijanis.

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