By Aisha Jabbarova
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have visited the Khojaly genocide memorial in Baku's Khatayi district to commemorate the victims of the genocide, Azertag reported today.
Today marks the 29th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, the killing of 613 Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian armed forces over the night leading to February 26 in 1992 in Khojaly town in Nagorno-Karabakh. The death toll included 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people.
During the genocide, 56 people were killed with special cruelty, with people's scalps removed, various limbs cut off, eyes gouged out, and pregnant women's bellies pierced with bayonets. Eight families were completely destroyed, 25 children lost both parents and 130 children lost one parent.
The massacre was the bloodiest incidents in the Nagorno-Karabakh war in the early 1990s.
“Tragedies like Khojaly genocide cannot be forgotten. There can be no excuses for the brutal murder of innocent people! We will always protect the truth about those terrible events from any attempts to distort it,” Mehriban Aliyeva wrote in her Instagram account today.
President Ilham Aliyev made a Facebook post, writing “Spirits won’t die, justice won’t be lost".
Azerbaijani Presidential Aide Hikmat Hajiyev called for justice for the Khojaly genocide in a Twitter post today.
"We Remember! We demand justice for innocent victims of Khojaly genocide! Justice is an important component of reconciliation. Perpetrators of Khojaly genocide are glorified as heros in Armenia based on extreme ideologies of racism, discrimination, ethnic hate," Hajiyev wrote.
Azerbaijan launched “Justice for Khojaly” international campaign in 2008 to boost the awareness-raising efforts around Khojaly. As a result of systematic work, what happened in Khojaly was recognized as a genocidal act by the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as the parliaments of Mexico, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Sudan, Guatemala and Djibouti. The parliaments of Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Jordan, Slovenia and Scotland, as well as executive and legislative bodies of 22 American states recognized Khojaly events as a massacre.
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