Azerbaijan to mark 23rd year of Khojaly genocide

DOHA: Azerbaijan is marking this month the 23rd anniversary of what it calls the Khojaly genocide, an embassy press release said yesterday.

“For people of Azerbaijan and the region, the word ‘Khojaly’ has become synonymous with pain, sorrow and cruelty.

“Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, the Armenian troops supported by Soviet infantry regiment attacked the town with population more than 7,000 and razed it to the ground and massacred hundreds of civilians,” the release said.

Khojaly is a town in the mountainous Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

“The Khojaly genocide set a pattern of destruction and ethnic cleansing methodically carried out by Armenia and revealed to the world the essence of Armenian ethnic expansionism and the real goals of the war waged against the people of Azerbaijan.

“The policy of genocide has become an integral part of the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan,” the statement adds.

Every year, leaders of Azerbaijan’s Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities issue appeals on the eve of the commemoration of the ‘Khojaly genocide’ urging the international community to condemn the February 26, 1992 bloodshed and facilitate the liberation of the occupied territories and repatriation of the displaced communities.

But 23 years on, the world is still oblivious to the suffering caused by the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, which resulted in the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijan territory and expulsion of 1,000,000 people from their homes.

The Peninsula