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Live and dead victims testify

Genocide?

New version of Khojaly tragedy

Chairman of Azerbaijani Supreme Council Yaqub Mammadov recently asked a rhetorical question in Russkaya Misl newspaper: "How could it happen that Khojaly was blockaded for four months, but the Azerbaijani people did not extend a helping hand to it? Why weren't the women and children taken out of the encirclement in time? Who intentionally handed our mothers and sisters, our children to those barbarians?"

Speaking to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Azerbaijan's ex-president Ayaz Mutallibov expressed a doubt that the Armenians let all civilians out of Khojaly only in order to brutally shoot them later before Azerbaijani video cameras. Mutallibov suggested (citing the Khojaly people who survived) that the tragedy was incited with a single aim – to achieve his resignation through a "certain force."
The ex-president did not directly name that "force," but it is quite obvious that he meant the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party. It is noteworthy that Aghdam Popular Front members do not conceal either that the death of civilians was contrived in Azerbaijan itself.
But they blame …Mutallibov! "Believe me, we could help the Khojaly people," board member of Aghdam branch of Popular Front Rustam Hajiyev told Izvestia. "There was both power and capabilities. But the country's leadership aimed to show the people that they have no power, and again call the CIS army for help, at the same time suppressing the opposition with its help."

However, it is better to judge from the words of the victims – Khojaly residents who survived by a miracle. Elman Mammadov, Khojaly mayor: "A report was received on February 25, at 8:30pm to the effect that Armenian tanks and IFVs occupy fighting positions around the town. We announced this by portable radio transmitter. I asked Aghdam to send helicopters to evacuate the old people, women and children… They assured us that they would conduct an operation and break the blockade the next day. We, however, got no help…"

Suleyman Abbasov testifies about what happened after the storm.
He was retreating from Khojaly along with the remaining defenders of the town: "We together with some of the residents reached the village of Nakhijevanik hoping to find a refuge there: earlier we were informed by radio transmitter that the village was retaken from Armenian fighters. (Who informed them? How can there be such a strange mistake if Nakhijevanik for a long time was firmly held by Armenian "fighters"? – P. Sh.) The first shots were fired…A short fight broke out, during which we managed to break the covering force and come out to the road, but an APC blocked our way… With a great difficulty, with the help of Aghdam people, who came to us, we, nevertheless, managed to break through it." (Baku Worker, 7.03.92).

It is this "fight" that Baku officially calls "shooting of defenseless civilians." Aghdam people were "in time" when the show was over, but they settled down for a long time: for many days they held the field heaped up with corpses, took foreign journalists there regularly, and it cannot be ruled out that during the intervals they scalped the corpses in order to produce greater proofs of "Armenian barbarities."

It cannot but be admitted that if the Popular Front indeed set far-reaching goals, they were achieved. Mutallibov was compromised and toppled, the world public opinion is shocked, the Azerbaijanis and their brother Turks believed in the "Azerbaijani people's genocide in Khojaly." Suffice it to say that the very same Baku Worker is already comparing the "Khojaly tragedy" with …the "tragedy of Hiroshima" and one of the authors directly announced: "For me personally, the word "murderer" will always be associated with the word "Armenian."

Poor Azerbaijani mothers and sisters, their fates were indeed decided by barbarians…

Pavel Shekhtman

April 1992

Kosovo victims

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