By Rashid Shirinov
Despite a ceasefire reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan back in 1994 following the Karabakh War, Azerbaijani civilians, including children, still became the victims of Armenian aggression.
Since the fragile ceasefire, 32 children were the victims of Armenian terror - 13 of them were killed and 19 were wounded, said Hijran Huseynova, the Chairperson of Azerbaijan State Committee for Family, Women and Children`s Affairs.
She announced about this while addressing an event "Khojaly tragedy: unforgotten history and innocent children" devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide.
Huseynova stressed that the killings of Azerbaijani children by Armenians continue to this day. “Armenia wants to annex Karabakh and is ready to commit any crime and atrocity for this,” she said.
Residents of the frontline settlements are frequently wounded and killed in their homes or on their farms due to frequent ceasefire violations by the Armenian armed forces. The Armenian militaries even don’t hesitate to kill the innocent children.
In March 2011, nine-year-old Fariz Badalov was shot in the head by an Armenian sniper while playing in the courtyard in Aghdam region. In July of the same year, 13-year-old Azerbaijani girl Aygun Shahmaliyeva fell victim to the Armenia`s inhumane and immoral policy in the Alibayli village. She tragically died as a result of the explosion of a toy with an explosive device, which the Armenian side deliberately dropped into the river flowing to the village.
Huseynova further stressed that everything possible should be made to bring perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide to justice.
Azerbaijan’s Human Rights Commissioner Elmira Suleymanova, in turn, said she does not believe that only 63 children and 106 women were killed by Armenians in Khojaly.
“Losses were more. We must raise this issue once again, as then there were no such opportunities to register everything properly,” she said at the event.
Khojaly, the second largest town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, came under intense fire by Armenia from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by the Armenian armed forces in 1992.
613 civilians mostly women and children were killed in the massacre, and a total of 1,000 people were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one parent.
“197 Khojaly residents are registered as missing,” said Ismayil Akhundov, the head of the Working Group of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons.
He said that the testimonies show that 95 of these 197 residents of Khojaly, including 12 children, were captured by Armenian militaries.
“Some 3,868 Azerbaijanis went missing during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 1,437 people were released from captivity and 210 of them were children,” he said.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz