Azerbaijan discovers mass grave in liberated Khojavand region [PHOTO]
By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan has discovered a mass grave in its liberated Kojavand region’s Edilli village, local media reported on February 24.
Zaur Ismayilov, a member of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons Working Group, said that the mass grave was discovered using collected statements and materials.
Azerbaijani Presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev also tweeted about the mass grave of Azerbaijanis discovered in Edilli.
"Mass grave site according to eyewitnesses account of former Azerbaijani POWs identified in ex-occupied Edilli village. Edilli was used as a concentration/torture camp for Azerbaijani POWs and captured civilians by Armenian forces. 4,000 Azerbaijanis still missing since the first Karabakh war", Hikmat Hajiyev wrote on Twitter.
During its search, the commission discovered additional mass graves near the liberated cities of Aghdam, Fuzuli, Khojavand, and Shusha, Ismayilov said.
"One of the mass graves is located in Edilli village of Khojavand region. According to preliminary data, the remains of 15-20 people were found there. The State Commission has data on several mass graves, GPRS coordinates are determined. As the territories are cleared of mines, the graves will be gradually discovered," he added.
Ismayilova said that they had received information about a mass grave in the Fuzuli region's Ashaghi-Seyidahmadli village, where the remains of ten Azerbaijanis were discovered. He went on to say that the area had not been studied because of the mine threat.
Meanwhile, foreign and local media representatives visited the mass grave site in Edilli village.
Shamsi Shikhaliyev, a witness to the massacre, informed the visitors about the mass grave. On August 28, 1993, while on his way to Fuzuli to help his family with transportation, he was kidnapped by Armenians and held captive for 48 days, according to Shikhaliyev.
He recalled that during the first Karabakh war (1988-1994), the bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen killed in Fuzuli were transported in trucks and buried in excavated holes in Edilli village.
Shikhaliyev emphasized that the mass grave was discovered as a result of a site inspection by the working group of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Prior to the Khojaly genocide, Armenians committed the worst tragedy in the Khojavand region. The Garadaghli genocide was a stain on humanity, and terrible crimes were committed in the villages of Akhullu, Tug, Salaketin, and Edilli at the end of the twentieth century. The tragic days in Khojavand's villages started in 1988 when the Armenian separatist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh began.
Garadaghli, Akhullu, Tug, Salaketin, and Edilli fought valiantly against the Armenian invaders for several years. During those years, hundreds of villagers were killed in unequal battles with Armenian armed forces.