Over one thousand killed, including women, children and the elderly, hundreds wounded, missing in action, taken hostage - this is the toll of the capture of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly by Armenian armed formations. This was announced at a press conference for local and foreign correspondents organized in Baku by the Press Service of the President of Azerbaijan.
E. Mammadov, the chief of the executive authority of Khojaly district, called what had happened, a tragedy of a scale hitherto unparalleled in all the four years of the conflict. He said that the town had been completely blockaded from 20 January. The last link, by air, with the outside world was broken after a civilian helicopter was hit and brought down in the sky near Shusha. Therefore, even knowing about the imminent storming of the town, its defenders could not evacuate even the women and children. After Khojaly had been subjected to several hours of mass bombardment, the survivors tried to break out of the ruined and blazing town. But the fighters fired point blank at the columns of people, sparing neither women nor children. Fewer than 2,000 made it to Agdam. Besides those killed and wounded, there are many frost-bite victims and many who were subjected to finely-honed torture and mutilated.
Elmira Kafarova, the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the republic, tendered her resignation on health grounds at an emergency session of the parliament of Azerbaijan which opened in Baku yesterday. The deputies accepted the parliamentary chief's resignation. Y. Mammadov, the dean of the Medical University of Azerbaijan, and a corresponding member of the republic's Academy of Sciences, was elected the new parliamentary chairman.
The deputies are to discuss the situation which has arisen in the mountainous part of Karabakh as well as the social and political situation in the republic.
T. Kasumova. Baku
The bombardment by Armenian armed formations of the Azerbaijani village of Sirkhavend which began on the evening of the previous day ended only yesterday morning. According to information from the Directorate of Internal Affairs for the Karabakh Zone, around 10 people were killed following the bombardment of this settlement and there are wounded. Armenian formations' attempt to capture Sirkhavend yesterday morning, with the support of armoured equipment, failed.
Translation courtesy of the book “Khojaly Witness of a War Crime - Armenia in the Dock”, published by Ithaca Press, London 2014