By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
Parliament Deputy Speaker Ahmet Aydin has condemned the Khojaly Massacre, which took place in 1992 in Azerbaijan’s now-occupied region of Karabakh during the war with Armenia.
Addressing the general assembly in capital Ankara on Thursday, Aydin welcomed Azerbaijani lawmaker Elman Mammadov and the relatives of people who died in the massacre.
"I welcome you on behalf of all political parties. Hereby, I strongly condemn the Khojaly Massacre once again," the deputy speaker said.
"The pain of Azerbaijan is also the pain of Turkey."
Lawmakers in the general assembly applauded Aydin's remarks.
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; 150 of the 1,275 Azerbaijanis that the Armenians captured during the massacre remain missing to this day.