Artsakh Foreign Ministry’s comment on the 26th anniversary of the massacre of the Armenian population of the village of Maragha has been disseminated in the OSCE, the Ministry said in a Twitter post.
The statement reads:
The massacre of the inhabitants of the village of Maragha of the Artsakh Republic’s Martakert region, committed by the Azerbaijani army on April 10, 1992, is one of the most tragic episodes of Azerbaijan’s military aggression against Artsakh.
After intensive artillery shelling, the Azerbaijani troops invaded the village of Maragha, where 118 people remained, mostly the elderly, disabled, women, and children. As a result of the war crime committed with unprecedented cruelty by the Azerbaijani armed forces, over 50 people were killed and the rest, including 9 children and 29 women, were taken hostage. Some of them were later returned, but the fate of 19 hostages remains unknown to this day.
The village was liberated by the armed forces of Artsakh, however two weeks later, it was again attacked, and those who had returned to bury their relatives became victims of the new atrocities of the Azerbaijani army.
The attack on the village was not conditioned by a military necessity, but was was primarily aimed at exterminating its peaceful civilian population. The crime in Maragha became the continuation of the series of pogroms and deportations of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad and other settlements of Azerbaijan, as well as in the villages of Northern Artsakh in 1988-1991․ These were intended to strangle at its birth the national-liberation struggle of the Armenians of Artsakh and deprive them of the homeland through ethnic cleansing and terror against Artsakh and the Armenian population of Azerbaijan.
The impunity of the organizers and perpetrators of these crimes created a fertile ground in Azerbaijan for enrooting the cult of hatred towards Armenians as a state policy and unbridled a propaganda of xenophobia, intolerance, and militarism. Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh in April 2016, which was accompanied by war crimes against civilians and soldiers of the Artsakh Defense Army, demonstrated that the methods and approaches of the Azerbaijani side remained unchanged.