By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani servicemen have commemorated the March 31 genocide victims in liberated Shusha city in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Defence Ministry reported on its website on March 31.
"The event honoured the memory of the victims of the genocide, highlighted the success of the policy pursued by [late] national leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to bring the truth about the events to the attention of the world community, and stressed the work carried out in this area," the report added.
The Defence Ministry also posted on its website a film on March 31 - Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis. The film was shot by the Defence Ministry.
It should be noted that earlier on March 31, in a statement made on the 103rd anniversary of the genocide the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry strongly condemned "the deliberate policy of genocide, crimes against humanity, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing by Armenia committed against the people of Azerbaijan until now" and reiterated the importance of ceasing impunity of Armenia to prevent the reoccurrence of such inhumane crimes.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that 103 years ago in March-April 1918, massacres were committed in the city of Baku and other towns and districts of the Baku Province by the Armenian dashnak - bolshevik armed groups operating under the mandate of the Baku Council (Baku Soviet), and tens of thousands of civilians were killed only for their ethnic and religious affiliation.
Ethnic Armenian Stepan Shaumian, the Commissar Extraordinary for the Caucasus, admitted that 6,000 armed soldiers of the Baku Soviet and 4,000 from the Dashnaksutyun party participated in the massacres against the Azerbaijani people, the ministry said.
The genocide carried out against the Azerbaijanis along with Baku covered also Shamakhi, Guba, Iravan, Zangezur, Garabagh, Nakhchivan and Kars regions. During the first five months of 1918, more than 16,000 people were murdered with utmost cruelty in Guba province alone; a total of 167 villages were destroyed. Mass graves discovered in Guba region in 2007 constitute clear evidence of the inhumane acts committed by Armenians, the statement added.
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