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Twelve on int'l wanted list over Garadahli killings

18 February 2022 17:59 (UTC+04:00)
Twelve on int'l wanted list over Garadahli killings

By Sabina Mammadli

Twelve people have been named as defendants on the international wanted list for crimes against peace and humanity, as well as war crimes, in connection with the Garadaghli tragedy under some articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code.

Kanan Zeynalov, the senior prosecutor of the Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General's Office press service, made the remarks.

He said that an investigative-operational group had been formed to investigate crimes against peace and humanity, as well as military and other crimes committed against civilians on Azerbaijani territory by Armenian separatists and the Armenian Armed Forces.

"The Military Prosecutor's Office continues to conduct investigations based on the relevant articles of the Criminal Code," Zeynalov added.

Armenian armed formations launched an attack on the village of Garadaghli in Khojavand region beginning in early February 1992. It was a large village with over 800 houses. Back in 1991, the village was surrounded by Armenians, and the residents' power and roads were cut off. Armenians did everything they could to get Azerbaijanis out of their homeland.

This year Azerbaijan marked the 30th anniversary of the Garadaghli massacre committed by Armenian terrorists against Azerbaijanis in 1992.

For four years, the Garadaghli village of Khojavand region fought valiantly against Armenian aggressors. On February 17, 1992, the village was occupied and burned, and the massacre was committed against the civilian population.

The massacre and torture of villagers here 30 years ago were continuations of Armenian nationalists' policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Azerbaijanis for nearly 200 years, as a result of their hatred for Azerbaijanis.

Garadaghli village is located 13 kilometers west of Khojavand region's center, on the side of the Khojavand-Khankandi highway, in the foothills. The tragic days of Garadaghli village in Khojavand region began in 1988 when Armenian separatists revolted in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The villagers fought for every inch and every stone of their childhood home, and dozens of them were killed in unequal battles with the Armenians.

Some 43 families lost their fathers and husbands, leaving 146 children orphaned. Some 200 houses were demolished. Approximately 800 villagers were internally displaced. In total, 91 people were killed in the village, accounting for one out of every ten residents. If the Azerbaijani units had not distracted the enemy with an attack on Khojavand, there could have been far more casualties.

It should be mentioned that in the 20th century, Armenians perpetrated systematic crimes and atrocities against Azerbaijanis to break the spirit of the nation and annihilate the Azerbaijani people of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Khojaly genocide is regarded as the culmination of Armenian mass murders.

Some 613 Azerbaijanis, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 elders were brutally murdered on the ground of national identity in Khojaly in 1992.

This heinous act was preceded by a slew of others. Armenians set fire to around 20 buildings in the Baghanis-Ayrim village of Gazakh region, killing eight Azerbaijanis. A family of five, including a 39-day-old newborn, were all burnt alive.

Between June and December 1991, Armenian troops murdered 12 and wounded 15 Azerbaijanis in Khojavand region's Garadaghli and Asgaran region's Meshali villages.

Armenian military detachments bombed buses on the Shusha-Jamilli, Aghdam-Khojavand, and Aghdam-Garadaghli routes in August and September of the same year, killing 17 Azerbaijanis and injuring over 90 others.

In October and November 1991, Armenians burned, destroyed, and plundered over 30 settlements in the mountainous area of Karabakh, including Tugh, Imarat-Garvand, Sirkhavand, Meshali, Jamilli, Umudlu, Garadaghli, Karkijahan, and other significant villages.

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