On February 25, 1992, Armenian troops embarked on a massacre of more than 613 Azerbaijanis, including women and children, in the village of Khojaly.

Tuesday marks the 28th anniversary of the massacre of Khojaly in what is now Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory.

In the space of a little more than two hours in 1992, Armenian troops killed 613 people using mortars, artillery, and tank fire, as they sought to depopulate the village in order to occupy it.

According to Azerbaijani records, the death toll includes 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people. An additional 487 people were critically injured.

Some residents were able to escape by braving sub-zero temperatures and reaching territory still controlled by Azerbaijani forces.

They brought with them accounts of further atrocities, including the desecration and mutilation of dead victims. 

The testimonies backed by forensic analysis recorded instances of people being burned alive, having their scalps removed, and having their eyes gouged, among other acts of brutality.

An additional 1,275 people were taken hostage by the Armenian forces, of which 150 continue to be unaccounted for.

To this day Azerbaijan continues to demand that the international community recognise the massacre as a crime against humanity.

The massacre was one of the bloodiest single incidents in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which raged on between 1988 and 1994 amid the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In Azerbaijan, the effects of the conflict continue to be felt to this day. More than a million of its citizens are internally displaced as they cannot return to the occupied region.

After ethnically cleansing the Karabakh region of Azerbaijanis, Armenian forces have occupied the region and several other provinces belonging to Baku since.

Turkish lawmakers have joined Azerbaijan in calling for justice for the victims and the withdrawal of Armenian occupiers from Karabakh and surrounding territories.

Source: TRT World