By Vafa Ismayilova
February 17 marks the 29th anniversary of mass killings of Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian forces in Khojavand region's Garadagli village in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azertac has reported.
On February 14, 1992, using the equipment and manpower of the 366th regiment of the Soviet army, the Armenian bandits with the help of foreign mercenaries attacked Garadagli village, which remained in isolation. Some 104 residents of the village and 14 soldiers, who remained in the village fought for four days. Fourteen people were killed and remaining villagers were taken hostage, the report added.
The Armenian aggressors occupied the village on February 17, 1992. Garadagli was set to fire and civilians were killed on a mass scale. On the day of occupation, 118 people were captivated and 33 were shot dead. Armenian executioners buried the dead and wounded in a well, Azertac said.
In all, 68 of those captivated were killed, 50 people were later freed with great difficulties. Of hostages, 10 were women and two schoolchildren. Eighteen of those freed later died of wounds they had received. Five of them were women.
"The brutal treatment of captives, vandalism, beheadings, burials, gnashing of teeth, starvation, and beatings were crimes against humanity. As a result of the genocide committed by Armenia at the state level, four people from each of the two families were killed, 43 families lost their heads and 146 children were orphaned.
During the attacks of the Armenian armed forces on Garadagli, 10 of those killed were women and eight schoolchildren. Some 91 people were killed in Garadagli village, one in 10 villagers. As a result of aggression, 200 houses, a culture house, a 320-seat secondary school, a 25-bed hospital and other facilities, historical, religious, cultural monuments and a cemetery belonging to Azerbaijanis were destroyed in the village, the report added.
To inform the international community about the Garadagli tragedy, the book entitled "Genocide: Garadagli" was published in Azerbaijani, Russian and English at the initiative of Khojavand region executive office. Another book about the massacre was published in Azerbaijani, Russian, English and French. Moreover, two documentaries were made and three memorial complexes were erected to commemorate the genocide victims.
On February 26, Azerbaijan will commemorate the Khojaly massacre, also known as the Khojaly tragedy, the mass murder of ethnic Azerbaijani civilians by the Armenian armed forces and the 366th CIS regiment in the town of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh on 26 February 1992 during the First Karabakh War.
Around one million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes and thousands went missing during the war with Armenia between 1990-1994. The war ended with Armenia occupying Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region and seven surrounding districts.
The second Karabakh War of 2020 ended with Azerbaijan's victory and restoration of most of its territories. The trilateral peace deal of November 10 that ended the hostilities also stipulates the exchange of prisoners as well as bodies of soldiers following the war.
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