Today marks 29th anniversary of Khojaly tragedy - PHOTO

Today marks 29th anniversary of Khojaly tragedy - PHOTO
Today marks 29th anniversary of Khojaly tragedy - PHOTO

Azerbaijan commemorates the victims of the Khojaly massacre. Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev and other high officials will lay a wreath at the Khojaly Genocide Memorial. Large-scale actions will be held in different countries worldwide with the motto "Justice for Khojaly."

On February 25-26, 1992, Armenian armed forces, with the help of the 366th Russian Regiment, attacked the town of Khojaly, which had been under siege for several months at night. A large-scale artillery bombardment preceded the raid, which began on February 25 evening. It led to a fire that engulfed the city by 5 o'clock on February 26. The remaining 2,500 people in Khojaly fled to Agdam, the nearest settlement, in the hope of surviving. However, the Armenian formations did not give them a chance.

According to the Azerbaijanian side's official statistics, 613 civilians got killed with extreme brutality, including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly. 1275 civilians got captured, while the fate of 150 people, including 68 women and 26 children, is still unknown. 475 people suffered from various injuries. Eight families got killed entirely. Twenty-five children lost both parents, and 130 lost one of them.

In 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and the Prosecutor General's Office issued a joint statement on the tragedy in Khojaly, saying that "Azerbaijan and its citizens lost $170 million from the occupation of Khojaly by the Armenian armed forces."

After the tragedy, on February 28, a group of local reporters flew to the scene by two helicopters. The photos and videos of Khojaly victims, taken by local and foreign journalists, have traveled the world.

Foreign correspondents arrived there on March 1. World media later described the shocking picture of what they saw in Khojaly, saying the dead bodies were scattered around the area; some of them were missing body parts, others sculpted. Many corpses were destroyed or burnt by military hardware.

In 1994, at the initiative of the National Leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, a special decree was issued declaring February 26 "the Day of the Khojaly Genocide and National Mourning." The document describes the causes of the tragedy and the perpetrators.

Memorials to the victims of the Khojaly genocide have been erected in Baku and other cities. The Khojaly Massacre Memorial (Ana harayı) is located in the Khatai district of the capital of Azerbaijan.

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