The day of national mourning in Azerbaijan was established in memory of Khojaly genocide – the massacre of the inhabitants of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly by Armenian militants with the help of the personnel of the 366th regiment of the Russian armed forces, which has become the largest and most violent bloodshed during the Karabakh war.
In the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, Armenian armed forces with the support of heavy equipment and personnel of the 366th motorized rifle (Russian ) regiment of the former USSR, stationed in the town of Khankendi, implemented the seizure of Khojaly.
Assault of the city was preceded by a massive bombardment of artillery shells, heavy weaponry, began in the evening on 25 February. As a result, a fire broke out in the city, and at five o’clock in the morning on February 26, the city was almost completely enveloped in flames. The population remained in the city, about 2500 people were forced to leave their homes to make way in the city of Agdam – the closest point, mainly populated by Azerbaijanis.
However, the armed forces continued their military operations. As a result, 613 people were killed: one children – 63; women – 106; seniors – 70 people.
8 families were completely annihilated. 25 children lost both parents. 130 children lost one parent. Wounded – 487 of them children – 76. People who have visited the hostages – 1275 people. Missing – 150 people.
Reason has been enormous damage to state and private property of citizens, estimated at 5 billion Dolar (as at April 1992 prices).
These figures are reported most bloody tragedy of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which began in February 1988. A reason for this tragedy were the events when the January 6, 1992 the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic declared independence, and the ensuing power section of the disputed territories.
Monuments to Khojaly tragedy victims installed in Baku and other cities of Azerbaijan, and in the memory of the bloody events and was established Day of Mourning, annually celebrated in Azerbaijan on 26 February.