22 February 2018

The Khojaly massacre was a result of the illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia, said Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, the secretary general of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the OIC said in a message.

He made the remarks in his address on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the commemoration of the massacre in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, and paid tribute to all those, who lost their lives in the 1992 atrocity.

The Secretary General referred to the Cairo Final Communiqué of the 12th Session of the Islamic Summit and resolutions adopted by previous sessions of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, which considered the actions perpetrated against civilian Azerbaijani population in the occupied Azerbaijani territories as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

He further reiterated the OIC’s full support to the initiatives and efforts of Azerbaijan to put an end to the occupation of its territories and to restore its territorial integrity.

On Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.