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A nationwide march has been held in Baku on the 30th anniversary of the bloody tragedy, that went down in the history of mankind in the 20th century as the Khojaly genocide.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the march.
The marchers arrived at Khatai district, the site where the Khojaly memorial is erected.
President Ilham Aliyev put a wreath at the memorial and paid tribute to Khojaly victims.
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva, Prime Minister Ali Asadov, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova, Head of the Presidential Administration Samir Nuriyev laid flowers at the monument.
State and government officials, members of the Milli Majlis, ministers, heads of committees, agencies and companies, heads of religious confessions, also joined the march.
Participants in the nationwide march put flowers at the memorial.
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The atrocity committed by Armenians in the town of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh on the night of 25-26 February 1992 went down in the history of Azerbaijan as a bloody page. That night helped by the Soviet Union`s Khankandi-based 366th motor rifle regiment, the Armenian armed forces massacred innocent people in this ancient Azerbaijani town.
The statistics of Khojaly genocide are as follows: of 3,000 people who were in the town at the moment of the attack 613 were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elders; 487 people were severely wounded, including 76 children; 1,275 people were captured and subjected to unprecedented torture; the fate of 197 people still remains unknown. Eight families were totally annihilated. All these people were slaughtered, tortured and disabled solely because of their ethnic background, only for being Azerbaijanis.
This genocidal act by the Armenians was deliberately planned and its only objective was to partially or completely wipe out civilians because of their nationality. These actions are defined as genocide under international law, which must be recognized by the world community.
The real essence of this genocide, which was committed in front of the eyes of the world, was uncovered only after national leader Heydar Aliyev`s coming to political power. On initiative of the national leader Khojaly genocide was given a political and legal assessment, and February 26 was declared “Day of Khojaly Genocide”. Launched by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva in 2008, “Justice for Khojaly” international campaign boosted the awareness-raising efforts even more. The campaign has contributed to increasing the international community`s awareness of the truth about this genocide, exposing the Armenian nationalists who resort to any violence, including the murder of children, in order to reach their ridiculous and heinous plans. As a result of systematic work, what happened in Khojaly was recognized as a genocidal act by the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as the parliaments of Mexico, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Sudan, Guatemala and Djibouti. The parliaments of Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Jordan, Slovenia and Scotland, as well as executive and legislative bodies of 24 American states recognized Khojaly events as a massacre.
As in previous years the Heydar Aliyev Foundation continued to support the organization of Khojaly commemorative events across the world. This included commemorative rallies in Turkey, USA, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Georgia and the Netherlands, commemorative events, conferences, exhibitions and contests in a number of other countries.