One of the most horrible tragedies, which Azerbaijan experienced in the 20th century, is the genocide in Khojali. It is like the genocides committed in Khatyn, Lidisia, Oradur reflected in the history of mankind.
In the early hours of February 26, the armed forces of Armenia, the armed Armenian militants of the Nagorno-Karabakh, and Motor-Infantry Battalion 366 of the former Soviet Union dislocated between Askaran and Khankendi occupied the town and committed genocide against the Azerbaijanis.
The night, in which the Armenians committed the genocide in Khojali, 613 peaceful residents were murdered with a special cruelty, torture, beheaded, and blinded. Pregnant women were bayoneted; among them were 63 children, 106 women and 70 old men.
The genocide was committed with the participation of Motor-Infantry Regiment No. 366 commanded by Major Seyran Mushegovich Oganyan (at present he is the Defense minister of the Republic of Armenia), companies and platoons of the same battalion commanded by Eugenie Nabokikhin, chief of headquarters of the first battalion Valeri Isayevich Chitchyan and over 50 officers and senior personnel of the Armenian nationality (“Materials of Investigation on the genocide in Khojali”).
A part of the population trying to escape the violence encountered ambushes on the way out of the town and was murdered. According to the materials of the Russian legal-protection “Memorial” centre, 200 Azerbaijani corpses were brought from Khojali to Agdam within four days, and it was discovered that they were subjected to abuses, torture and mutilation. 181 corpses (130 men, 51 women and 13 children) were examined by court-medical experts who determined that 151 of them were shot, 20 of them died of wounds due to the fragmentation of shells and 10 of them were beaten to death by blunt tools. There are facts evidencing that the skulls of live men were flayed.
What the witnesses of the Khojali genocide said in the investigation:
The chests of the murdered Azerbaijani children were torn, their hearts splintered, and most of the corpses were cut to pieces.
Jamal Abdulhusein oglu Heydarov – “There were the mutilated, disfigured corpses of a great number of Azerbaijanis 2 km away from the farm near a place called Garagaya, the chests and hearts of the murdered children were torn, the majority of bodies were cut to pieces.”
Shahin Zulfugar oglu Heydarov – “There were 80 corpses near the village of Nakhchivanik (near Khojali); they were mutilated, disfigured, and beheaded. Militia Major Alif Hajiyev, his close relatives Fakhraddin Salimov, Mikail Salimov were among them.”
Jalil Humbatali oglu Humbatov – “The Armenians shot my wife Firuza, my son Mugan, my daughter Simuzer, my daughter-in-law Sudaba were in my presence”.
Kubra Adil qizi Pashayeva – “When we entered the forest of Ketik, we found ourselves under siege by the Armenians. I saw from the bushes how they shot my husband Shura Tapdig oglu Pashayev my son Elshad Shura oglu Pashayev.”
Khazangul Tavakkul qizi Amirova – “My family was wholly taken hostage by the armed Armenians when Khojali was occupied. They shot and killed my mother Raya, my seven-years old sister Yegana, and my aunt Goycha. They poured petrol on my father Tavakkul and set him on fire.”
Zoya Ali gizi Aliyeva – “We hid in the forest for 3 days; we were 150 people. Ahmadova Dunya and her sister Gulkhar froze and died”.
Kubra Alish gizi Mustafayeva – “As the Armenians took us hostages, they shot 6 people in front of me.”
Saida Gurban gizi Karimova – “12 of us were taken hostages. The Armenians murdered my daughter Nazakat. Then Tapdig, Saadat and Irada were tortured to death.”
Ali Agamali oglu Najafov – “The Armenians surrounded the escaping people and shot 30-40 people right there.”