Friday, 21 February 2003

TENS OF THOUSANDS RALLY IN AZERBAIJAN TO MARK ANNIVERSARY OF BRUTAL ATTACK IN KARABAKH WAR

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By empty (2/21/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)

Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis rallied in the capital Friday to mourn the anniversary of a notorious attack in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and to demand the attack be considered genocide. The rally, estimated at between 20,000 and 60,000 participants, underlined the deep tensions with neighboring Armenia even though fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, ended in 1994. Azerbaijani authorities say 613 Azerbaijanis were killed when Armenian troops rushed into the village of Khodzhaly on Feb.
Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis rallied in the capital Friday to mourn the anniversary of a notorious attack in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and to demand the attack be considered genocide. The rally, estimated at between 20,000 and 60,000 participants, underlined the deep tensions with neighboring Armenia even though fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, ended in 1994. Azerbaijani authorities say 613 Azerbaijanis were killed when Armenian troops rushed into the village of Khodzhaly on Feb. 26, 1992. The attack appalled Azerbaijanis and contributed to the resignation two weeks later of President Ayaz Mutalibov, whom the opposition said had not acted decisively against the Armenians. \"We are demanding from the world community an attentive attitude toward the tragedy in Khodzhaly, that it would recognize the people taking part in this savagery as criminals and guarantee their being brought to court,\" Ali Akhmadov, secretary of the governing Yeni Azerbaijan Party, told the rally. Although the Nagorno-Karabakh fighting ended with a 1994 cease-fire, the final political status of the enclave has not been worked out. Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliyev have met repeatedly to discuss the issue, but progress has appeared slow amid fears that any compromise would ignite anger among Armenians and Azerbaijanis, each of whom accuse the other side of pogroms. (AP)
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