By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Twenty-eight years have passed since the occupation of strategic Kerkijahan village by Armenian forces in Azerbaijan’s Khankendi city.
By capturing the village on December 28, 1991, Armenian armed forces completed the occupation of Khankendi, which is the largest city in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Local residents, police and military of the National Army in Khankendi carried out the defence until the last remaining village – Kerkijahan. However, they had to retreat, as the occupiers used military equipment and heavy weapons in the offensive.
Azerbaijani units restrained for some time the offensive of the illegal Armenian armed forces and succeeded to evacuate almost all civilians from the village.
In peacetime, the population of Kerkijahan totaled 1,796 people. In particular, two secondary schools, one kindergarten, a library, a club, a telephone exchange, ten shops, a clinic, five production workshops and various household facilities were destroyed during the attack.
As many as 34 people gave their lives in the battles for this village and the surrounding areas, and another 150 were injured. Among the dead are also three women and two children.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991.The war displaced around one million Azerbaijanis.
Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994.
Armenia has refused to abide by four UN resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal; and today, peace talks that have been mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced absolutely no results for over two decades now.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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