By Abdul Kerimkhanov
October 2 is another painful day in Azerbaijan’s modern history. It marks the 27th anniversary of the occupation of Khojavand city by Armenian forces during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1992.
The region was established after the abolition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region in 1991. Since then, Armenia began campaign of provocations that would lead to the region’s occupation.
On October 30, 1991, Armenian forces attacked the ancient villages of Tug and Salakatin, majority of which were Azerbaijanis. A month later, the village of Khojavand fell to Armenians’ hand. By early 1992, the village of Akhullu was also occupied following bloody battles.
On February 17, 1992, Armenian forces occupied Garadagly village of 800 residents and massacred civilians. As many as 118 people were captured and 33 were shot dead.
On October 2, 1992, Muganli and Kuropatkino villages of the region were also captured and burned. On July 23, 1993, Armenian illegal formations destroyed Gunashli and Khatai villages.
As many as 145 people were killed in Khojavand region who fought bravely for the land of their ancestors. More than 300 residents of the region lost their health during the war, 243 children lost one parent, three children lost both parents, and 68 women lost their spouses.
As a result of the occupation, 1,723 houses, as well as 47 industrial, 144 agricultural facilities, 32 health, 17 educational institutions, four preschools, 59 cultural facilities, 32 bridges, 42 reservoirs and 316 kilometers of water pipelines were destroyed in 10 villages of Khojavand region.
Moreover, oak trees were destroyed and stolen in the Khojavand forest with a total area of 25,500 hectares. Another forest that captured the area of 6,000 hectares was destroyed in the territory called Kuropatkino.
The expelled Khojavand residents settled in 36 cities and regions across Azerbaijan. Khojavand IDPs mainly live in Aghjabadi region as well in what has been left from Khojavand district. In 2015 another settlement with 320 houses was commissioned in the Beylagan region for Khojavand IDPs.
Khojavand IDPs believe that they will return to their homeland.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region began in February 1988 upon Armenia's territorial claims to Azerbaijan. The authorities of Azerbaijan lost control over the Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions during the subsequent military conflict.
Since 1992, negotiations have been underway for a peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, due to the unconstructiveness of Armenia, they still remain on paper.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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