By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan commemorates the 28th anniversary of the massacre committed by Armenian armed forces in Khojavand’s Garadaghli village on February 17.
Backed by the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi, Armenia’s invaders launched an attack on the Azerbaijani village of Garadaghli on February 15, 1992. After two-day fierce battles, Armenian forces occupied the village.
Garadaghli village is located 13 km west of the regional center, on the Khojavand-Khankendi road, at the foot of the mountains.
The village underwent completely destruction during the occupation, innocent unarmed people, including women and children, were murdered, tortured and taken hostages. Nearly 80 of 117 villagers taken hostage were killed, six went missing. According to eyewitnesses, nine people were taken hostage.
Some witnesses said the Armenians shot 43 Azerbaijani hostages to death in an area two km away from Khankendi, and some were decapitated.
This act of genocide over peaceful, innocent people living in the region, was the result of hatred of Armenian nationalists towards Azerbaijanis.
As for the chronological order of the tragedy, in 1988, after the Armenian separatists unleashed the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, a tragedy began in the village. Residents showed bravest performance defended every inch of their native land, dozens of villagers fell in an unequal battle with Armenian occupying forces.
On 19 December 1991, the village of Khojavend was occupied and burned.
On 12 February 1992, Shusha’s Malibeyli village was occupied and burned. Another target was the village of Garadaghli. The situation in the village was complicated, bringing the day of the tragedy closer.
On 17 February 1992, the village of Garadaghli was occupied and burned by Armenian thugs. As many as 118 villagers were taken hostage, 33 people were shot. The prisoners were subjected to inhuman torture, the Armenians committed monstrous in their cruelty killings of peaceful Azerbaijanis.
Overall, 91 people were killed in Garadaghli village, that is, one in 10 residents. In the village 200 residential buildings, a cultural center, a school for 320 children and a hospital with 25 beds were destroyed. About 800 villagers became refugees.
The village of Garadaghli is still under Armenian occupation.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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