Sofia hosts Khojaly genocide commemoration ceremony (PHOTO)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26
Rauf Aliyev, Azerbaijani MP and head of the Azerbaijan-Bulgaria Interparliamentary Friendship Group, took part in a commemoration ceremony dedicated to the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, Trend reports.
The ceremony was organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Bulgaria. The event was attended by public and private structures, media representatives, diplomatic corps and other guests.
In order to better inform the Bulgarian public about the Khojaly genocide, a troupe of the Azerbaijan State Pantomime Theater showed the performance "Xocalı-bu olub" ("This was Khojaly") in Sofia.
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.
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 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.