Head of Turkey-Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary friendship group on Sunday described the Khojaly massacre as a planned genocide and ethnic cleansing policy carried out by the Armenians against the Azerbaijani people, ONA reports.
“Armenian forces brutally murdered 613 civilians in Khojaly, including children and elderly, on the commands from the Armenian government which accused Turkey of genocide,” Samil Ayrim said at a news conference along with the members of the Turkey-Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary friendship group at the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
According to Ayrim, the atrocities in Khojaly were carried out with the support of the imperialist powers in order to realize the idea of "Great Armenia".
“The massacre was carried out with the aim of completely clearing the Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Turks,” he added.
The massacre of Feb. 25-26, 1992, is regarded as one of the bloodiest and most controversial incidents of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan for control of the now-occupied Upper Karabakh region.
On the heels of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Armenian forces took over the town of Khojaly in Karabakh on Feb. 26, 1992, after battering it with heavy artillery and tanks, assisted by an infantry regiment.
When the massacre happened, the population of the town was more than 11,000.
The two-hour offensive killed 613 Azeri citizens, including 116 women and 63 children, and also critically injured 487 others, according to Azerbaijani figures. One hundred and fifty of the 1,275 Azerbaijanis that the Armenians captured during the massacre remain missing to this day.