Azerbaijan Marks 32nd Aniversary of Khojaly Massacre

Baku, MINA – Azerbaijan on Monday commemorated the 32nd anniversary of the Khojaly massacre, the mass killing of Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian forces in the town of Khojaly in the country’s Karabakh region, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Karabakh region had been the site of mass killings and burials since the First Karabakh War in the early 1990s, during which the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan and seven adjacent regions.

The town of Khojaly saw a two-hour Armenian offensive that killed 613 Azerbaijani civilians, including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly people and seriously injured 487 others, according to Azerbaijani figures.

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Some 150 of the 1,275 Azerbaijanis that the Armenians captured during what has now been called the Khojaly massacre remain missing, while eight families were completely wiped out.

Commemorative events are taking place across the country, including the capital Baku, to honor the memory of those killed.

A day earlier, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that a “policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide” against Azerbaijanis was carried out by Armenia along with “crimes against humanity” in various settlements in the region.

The ministry said that one of the worst atrocities in this regard was committed against residents of Khojaly

The statement said that the use of heavy weaponry, investigative materials on atrocities committed against local civilians, eyewitness testimonials, as well as the confession of top Armenian officials at the time are proof that the event is a planned and “deliberate crime of genocide.”

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It further said the massacre grossly violated international humanitarian law, human rights law and various international conventions, indicating that the failure to end Armenia’s impunity led to the continuation of existing practices.

“From this perspective, the world community’s support for measures taken at the national and international level to end the impunity of criminals, as well as collaboration in this field are critical,” the statement said.

“On this 32nd anniversary of the tragedy, we remember with deepest respect and honor the memories of the innocent victims of Armenia’s ethnic hatred and genocidal crimes, including the Khojaly genocide,” it added. (T/RE1/P2)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)