February 26 marks the tenth anniversary of a tragedy that occurred in
Khojalu village in the Askeran region of Nagorno Karabagh. It doubtless
was a tragedy as it took the lives of 600 people. The 1992 February was
the highlight of the war in Karabagh, when Azeri armed units occupied
almost half of Karabagh’s territory and its capital Stepanakert was
being bombarded day and night from nearby located Khojalu and Aghdam.
Karabagh was actually strangled.
Back in 1992 Heydar Aliyev, who was then chairman of Nakhichevan
parliament, blamed the Khojalu tragedy on the then president of
Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov. Aliyev was quoted by Azeri news agency Bilik
Dunyasi as saying that “the bloodshed would be in our
favor and we must not interfere.”
Regretfully the Khojalu tragedy has been exploited in Azerbaijan for
inner-political goals, when the tragedy of innocent people is being
exploited for the sake of political intrigues. Who
killed the residents of Khojalu?. Let us put aside all
suppositions, let us apply to chronicles. An Azeri cameramen Chingiz
Mustafaev, who was shooting a documentary in Aghdam and nearby
territories, controlled then by Azerbaijani People’s Front, has
questioned the official Azerbaijani theory that it was committed by
Armenians and began a journalistic investigation. His first contribution
to the Moscow-based D-Press news agency about possible
involvement of Azeri troops in it cost him dearly. Shortly after
it he was killed in Aghdam region under obscure circumstances. Another
evidence came from former chairman of Azeri parliament Karayev who said
that the tragedy was plotted and implemented by a top
In a recent interview with the Moscow-based Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Azerbaijan’s ex-president Ayaz Mutalibov insists that
if the People’s Front had not hindered signing of an agreement that was
to place the Azeri army under the command of the CIS chief military
headquarters, the Khojalu tragedy would not have happened.
The interview was entitled “Late Confession.” Mutalibov in other cases
insisted that Armenians provided Azeris with a
humanitarian corridor to leave Khojalu, but the armed forces of the
People’s Front fired at innocent residents near the border of Aghdam.
About 600 women, children and old men fell victim to the slaughter,
committed by the People’s Front of Azerbaijan. They also murdered
brutally 34 Armenians in Khojalu.
By Tatool Hakobian
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