Twenty-nine years pass since the Azerbaijani MI-8 military helicopter was shot down by the Armenian security forces near the Garakend village of Azerbaijan’s Khojavand district on Nov. 20, 1991.
Representatives of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Russia and Armenia were in the helicopter en route to Azerbaijan's Khankendi city. The representatives were going to discuss the situation around the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and witness the developments regarding the conflict.
A total of 22 people in the helicopter, including high-ranking Azerbaijani, Russian and Kazakh officials, journalists and MPs, were killed as a result.
Azerbaijan’s State Secretary Tofig Ismayilov, State Prosecutor General Ismat Gayibov, State Adviser and former Interior Minister Mahammad Asadov, MPs Vagif Jafarov, Vali Mammadov, Deputy Prime Minister Zulfi Hajiyev, Department Head at the Office of the Azerbaijani President, journalist Osman Mirzayev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan Sanlal Serikov, Azerbaijani TV journalist Ali Mustafayev and others were killed as the helicopter was downed by the Armenian forces.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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