BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 27
By Farid Zohrabov - Trend:
Over 3,800 Azerbaijani citizens are considered missing since the First Karabakh War, Ahmad Shahidov, coordinator of the Information Center for Azerbaijani Prisoners and Hostages, told Trend.
According to Shahidov, Azerbaijan has been working at the international level in connection with this issue for many years.
"Unfortunately, the Armenian side ignored the calls of the international community and didn’t allow an international fact-finding mission to the previously occupied lands of Azerbaijan to investigate this issue," he said.
"However, the General Prosecutor's Office, the Military Prosecutor's Office, the State Commission for the Affairs of Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Citizens of Azerbaijan, together with the International Committee of the Red Cross, carried out large-scale work," the coordinator noted. "Biological samples and DNA samples were taken from family members of the missing persons. This will allow identification of the exhumation of the remains, which may be discovered in the future."
"Over the years, burials have been discovered in different places in Azerbaijan. Their remains were exhumed. After Azerbaijan liberated its lands during the 44-day war, the searches became more active," he further said. "During construction and demining operations in the liberated territories, mass graves were discovered. The identities of the remains found there are established by comparing biological samples from the DNA database."
Besides, last year, a mass grave was discovered in the Ballygaya area. Another such burial was discovered in the village of Dashalty. During the operation in the village on January 25-26, 1992, about 90 Azerbaijanis were killed. About 30 of them are considered missing, and it wasn’t possible to establish their identity.
"As a result of search activities carried out in February last year, human remains were found in the village of Dashalty, which were sent for forensic medical examination. Currently, work is underway to establish their identities," added Shahidov.