Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 21 /Trend, T.Hajiyev/
Azerbaijani Embassy in Great Britain held a commemoration ceremony on the 21st anniversary of the January 20 tragedy, the Embassy told Trend.
The event was attended by representatives of local communities, members of the Azerbaijani and Turkish communities, Azerbaijani students, representatives of Azerbaijani organizations operating in the UK, and journalists.
A minute of silence was paid to the memory of the victims. Then, the ambassador Fakhraddin Gurbanov told participants about the historical situation at the time of the tragic events. He noted the significance of that day in Azerbaijan's gaining sovereignty and independence. The ambassador said the tragedy was an event that speeded the collapse of the Soviet empire, and became one of the most heroic days in Azerbaijan's history.
The Soviet army commenced military operations against Azerbaijan early morning Jan. 20, 1990, before declaring a state of emergency. The tragedy claimed the lives of 131 people, including 117 Azerbaijanis, six Russians, three Jews and three Tatars. Some 744 people were severely injured. Four went missing and 400 were arrested. Twenty-one people were killed after a state of emergency was declared on Jan. 20. Twenty-six people were killed in the Neftchala and Lankaran regions.