The Way ‘thousands Of Khojalu Victims’ Spring Up

AZG Armenian Daily #035,

Nagorno Karabakh


According to 1926 Population Census Khojalu Was a Purely Armenian Village
with 888 Residents

In its yesterday’s issue daily Azg wrote about the Khojalu tragedy that
claimed lives of 613 Azeris and 34 Armenians. Florance David from Channel 5
TV of France was among the first foreign journalists to visit the places of
hostilities. The editor-in-chief of daily Azg, Hakob Avetikian, recalls that
Florance David came to Azg publishing house at 11 p.m. in early March of
1992 accompanied by 2 guys from Armenian Revolutionary Party. She needed a
satellite phone to send correspondence to the French TV.

“Understanding the importance of the moment we allowed her to use this rare
connection (only daily Azg and the office of Armenian Assembly of America
had satellite line on those days). Florance spoke to her editor first. What
she told him was published in our newspaper at that time”, Avetikian said.

“Referring to Florance’s conversation with her editor, daily Azg wrote in an
article titled ‘The Way ‘Thousands of Khojalu Victims’ Spring Up’ in March
of 1992: ‘On Iranian Red Crescent’s initiative, Armenians and Azeris
exchanged corpses on March 1 as they previously arranged. There were
hundreds of dead bodies on the field. Suddenly an Azeri helicopter with
Azeri and foreign journalists aboard appeared in the air, and they began
taking pictures of the exchange process from above. The Turkish TV and press
used the pictures and videotapes next day to present ‘the massacre of
‘thousands’ of Azeris killed during Armenians’ seizure of Khojalu’. That was
a prize misinformation”.

Avetikian recalls that Florance went on live broadcast after talking to her
editor and began broadcasting things that did not match her previous talk
with the editor. “She did not know I knew French. Noticing the difference we
published not Florance’s live speech but her conversation with the editor”,
he said.

Few days later a LDP French branch member, Levon Kebabjian, called daily Azg
that a legal action was launched against the paper for distorting Florance
David’s correspondence. But the action was shortly after stopped.

Avetikian thinks the reason for that was Ayaz Mutalibov’s statement in
Moscow that the Armenian opened a corridor for the Azeris to leave Khojalu.

Azerbaijan’s trend of labeling the Khojalu tragedy a “genocide committed by
Armenians” continues today. An American congressman from Indiana, Den
Barton, known for his pro-Turkish stance appealed to the Congress few days
ago to “recognize Khojalu tragedy as genocide”. “Khojalu was a small town
before the February of 1992. There is no such town any more. The word
‘Khojalu’ has turned today into sorrow and a symbol of cruelty for every
Azeri. Backed by the Russian air force, Armenians not only took the town
over but also completely ruined it. Armenians brutally executed 613 people”,
Barton said.

Davit Babayan, political analyst from Stepanakert, says that the elimination
was the work of Azeri forces who feigned genocide to remove attention from
the pogroms of Armenian population in Baku and Sumgait. “The killed Azeris
were in a position looking towards Aghdam. That means that the fusillade
came from Aghdam’s direction. Mutalibov himself confessed that Armenians
provided a corridor for the civilians”, Babayan says.

Referring to the Soviet population census of 1926, Babayan noted that
Khojalu was a purely Armenian village at that time with 888 Armenian
residents. The first 2 Azeri families settled in Khojalu only in 60s. Few
years later an Azeri Khojalu springs up by the Armenian one. In 1977 the
Armenian Khojalu was not mentioned and in 1989 census showed that Khojalu
was a purely Azeri settlement with 1661 population.

By Tatoul Hakobian

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress