TODAY.AZ / Politics

Conference devoted to Khojaly genocide held in Vienna

05 March 2013 [11:32] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

A conference devoted to the Khojaly genocide committed by Armenians was co-organized in Vienna by Azerbaijan`s Embassy in Austria and Austrian Turkish Confederation.

Addressing the event, Azerbaijani MPs Rovshan Rzayev and Fuad Muradov highlighted Armenians` territorial claims and genocidal acts committed by them against Azerbaijanis.

They described the Khojaly genocide as the most horrible massacre of the 20th century.

The town of Khojaly was situated within the administrative borders of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Its population constituted over 7,000 people.

Late into the night of February 25, 1992, Khojaly came under intensive fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by Armenian armed forces. The Armenian forces, supported by the ex-Soviet 366th regiment, completed the surrounding of the town already isolated due to ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population of the neighboring regions. The joint forces occupied the town, which was ruined by heavy artillery shelling.

Thousands of fleeing civilians were ambushed by the Armenian forces. Punitive teams of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh defense army reached the unprotected civilians to slaughter them, mutilating and scalping some of the bodies. 613 people were killed, including 106 women, 70 elderly and 83 children. A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, and 25 children lost both parents, while 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.

The speakers also told on the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign initiated by vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, and aimed at raising international civil awareness on humanitarian catastrophe inflicted upon innocent civilians victims of Khojaly Massacre perpetrated by Armenian military forces .

The MPs noted that in the wake of Armenia`s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan 20 percent of territories of the country were occupied and more than one million Azerbaijanis were driven out from their original lands by force.

They added that Yerevan does not honor documents adopted by international organizations on withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories.

Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in conflict, which emerged over Armenian territorial claims. Since the lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

Russia, France and the U.S. - co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - have long been working to broker a solution of the conflict, but their efforts have been largely fruitless so far.

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