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25 years have passed since bloody tragedy which entered the history as Khojali genocide. The genocide in one of the most ancient settlements of Khojali during the first stage of the conflict in Nagorny Karabakh, which started between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1988, is one of the most terrible events in human history.
Khojali is situated 14 km to north-west from Khankendi. Khojali had a population of 7 thousand before the tragedy in 1992. On 26 February night of 1992 the Armenians deployed their forces in Khankendi and with the help of the 366th shooting military regiment of the former USSR attacked defenseless and helpless Khojali. It started with Armenian forces surrounding the town from the four directions and opening heavy fire from artillery and salvo launchers. Within a short time, the city was enveloped in flames of fire. The defending army and local population had to leave town. Khojali was occupied by the Armenian invaders by 5 a.m. Within one night the town was razed to the ground.
Many of those who tried escaping from Armenian forces in the forests and mountains froze to death. Armenian armed forced were firing peace civilians from all sides and jeered at them cruelly. As a result of Armenian invasion, 613 residents of Khojali were killed, 478 heavily injured. 1275 peace civilians, including elderly persons, children and women were taken hostages and suffered heavy insults and offences from the Armenians. The fate of 150 of these persons is still remaining unknown.
Episodes of Khojaly genocide terrify people. That was a true genocide. Out of 613 civilians killed in Khojali, 106 were women, 63 children and 70 elderly persons. During this tragedy, 8 entire families were annihilated, 24 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one of the parents. 56 persons were killed with special cruelty.
The nation and the state of Azerbaijan do not forget the Khojali tragedy.
According to the appropriate decree of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the 26th day of February was declared as the national mourning day in memory of the Khojali genocide. The corresponding notifications were sent to all international organizations. On February 26th 1997, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan issued a decree on the announcement of a minute of silence in memory of the Khojali genocide victims.
Now the recognition of Khojaly genocide is established as one of the major directions of the foreign policy of Azerbaijan. International organizations, parliaments of the world states must give political-legal appraisal of Khojaly genocide - military crime, committed by the Armenian Republic in the Azerbaijan territories. Besides Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Sudan recognizes Khojaly massacre at the country level. At the parliamentary level, Peru, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Columbia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Djibouti, Jordan and Romania recognizes the tragedy as genocide. So far, 21 states of the USA adopted documents recognizing Khojaly genocide.
More than 9 monuments erected on Khojaly genocide in 6 countries.