Vladimir Vardanov: Azeri soldiers shot their civilians in Khojalu

PanARMENIAN.Net

Vladimir Vardanov: Azeri soldiers shot their civilians in Khojalu
28.02.2009 16:20 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Azeri TV reports on Khojalu ` dead bodies of Azeris
lying in a small field, are nothing more but an obvious lie, said
Vladimir Vardanov, founder and commander of special-purpose force.

`I can prove it. These were corpses of people who died long before
it. As an observer, I was sitting right there, and these corpses
appeared on the site after the end of the battle, some 7-8 hours
later,’ he told Bakour Karapetian, who provided PanARMENIAN.Net with
the script of the interview.

`I don’t think that the Azerbaijan authorities could be so mean as to
shoot their escaping population. It was dark, I couldn’t see. I saw an
exchange of fire with the position of Nakhijevanik, which lasted some
1-2 minutes, not more. After it, the refugees, understanding that it
was a wrong direction, didn’t go to the positions of Nakhijevanik. I
don’t exclude that some refugees died during the exchange of fire.
When Azeri refugees went to Nakhijevanik, they were forced back from
the position. Some 15-20 minutes after it, a very fierce fire was
opened from the Azerbaijan positions. I don’t exclude that Azeri, who
were in front of the position of Nakhijevanik, while seeing the
numerous group approaching them, thought that Armenians were attacking,
because before that they had an exchange of fire with Armenians. When
refugees appeared in front of Azeri, a very fierce firing started. It
is possible that the soldier, who watching over the position, was
sleeping, but during that firing, he opened his eyes and `started’ to
fire uninterruptedly. A very strong firing continued. I believe that
soldiers in the Azerbaijan position killed the civilians,’ Vardanov
said.

`If we objectively approach the situation, I think that the governing
body cannot punish those soldiers: it was their position, they were
keeping it safe and they didn’t have any information. If those people
died in Khodgalou, they wouldn’t appear on the territory under the
inspection of Azerbaijan, Azeri would not come to take photographs,
the highly esteemed governing body wouldn’t cry over the dead
population. Me, who was fighting against them, felt bad seeing it, but
when they showed the place, it became clear for me. After a very
fierce firing, Azeri soldiers, who were among the refugees, started to
fire back and it became a real battle. I don’t exclude that the
corpses were gathered from the Turkish firing point and shifted to a
medium size clearing to blame Armenians and to take photographs of the
corpses. There were no corpses there. When the fire ceased, I was
informed by Soviet portable radio transmitters: `You can come back’.
Next midday we returned and there was no exchange of fire there,’ he
said.

Azerbaijan claims that on February 26, 1992 Khojalu was attacked by
Armenian forces. The Azeri authorities accuse Armenians of `killing
civilians and taking some 2000 people hostage.’

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