The New York Times (1992, March, 3)
Massacre by Armenians Being Reported
Fresh evidence emerged today of a massacre of civilians by Armenian militants in Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani press agency Azerinform reported renewed Armenian missile fire on the Azerbaijani-populated town of Shusha on Sunday night. It said several people had been wounded in another attack, on the settlement of Venjali, early today.
The Washington Post (1992, March, 4)
Survivors Describe Armenian Attack
Reports from refugees arriving in Azerbaijan of a massacre by Armenian forces in the town of Khojaly are adding new fuel to the fiery confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 
Toronto Star, Reuters (1992, March 2)
Azeris bid to find victims of alleged refugee massacres
AGDAM, Azerbaijan (Reuter) – Azeri authorities, horrified by the apparent massacre of refugees fleeing Armenian gunmen, sought helicopters today to bring the bodies out of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A helicopter pilot who took journalists over the area reported seeing some corpses lying around Khojaly and dozens more near the Askeran Gap, a mountain pass a few kilometres from Agdam. 
The Ottawa Citizen (1992, March 2)
NAGORNO-KARABAKH; ESCAPE THROUGH THE SNOW; Azeri villagers flee Armenian troops across mountains
Gangrene has set in to one of 13-year-old Boris Hamidov’s frostbitten feet. Doctors say amputation is scheduled — probably from the knee down.
Murvat Mamedov, 14, escaped with a grenade splinter in his left hip. No frostbite, but some excitement in the telling:
”There were Russian BNPs (armored personnel carriers) and behind them, the Armenian infantry. Just like the war. It was just like in the movies on TV.”
The boys are among the refugees from the Azeri village of Khojaly, captured last week by Armenian paramilitary troops. The Armenian troops were reportedly backed by Russian troops from the former Soviet army.
Hamidov is one of the villagers who said they huddled in the frozen forest for a couple of days and walked over snow-covered mountains here to Agdam, about 25 kilometres northeast. The villagers broke into groups to flee, he says, when they heard troops were coming.
Interviewed at his bed in a hospital rail-car dating from the Second World War , he said he was wearing plastic shoes, which fell off when he was running into the woods. ”I lost them.”
Mamedov said he and his mother and siblings are the among women and children evacuated by ambulance after a swap of Khojali villagers and Armenian civilians captured in previous village conflicts.
He described soldiers ordering people out of their houses and throwing tear gas grenades when they didn’t come out. Later, real grenades were thrown and ”I saw a woman split in half by one.”
Mamedov said the villagers heard gunfire every day at a distance but never thought they would be attacked. ”But one day the bad day came.” 
Chicago Tribune / Brian Killen, Reuters (1992, March 3)
Massacre leaves dozens dead in Azeri region
Dozens of bodies lay scattered around the killing fields of Nagorno-Karabakh Monday, evidence of the worst massacre in four years of fighting between Armenians and Azeris over the disputed territory.
Those who returned Monday from a brief visit by helicopter to Khojaly, captured by the Armenians last week, said they had seen fresh evidence of massacres of Azeri civilians. A Russian journalist said he had counted about 30 bodies within a radius of 50 yards from where the helicopter landed.
“Women and children had been scalped,” said Assad Faradzhev, an aide to Karabakh’s Azeri governor.
The bodies could be seen lying in the snow-covered mountains between Agdam and Khojaly.
“The bodies are lying there like flocks of sheep. Even the fascists did nothing like this,” Agdam militia chief Rashid Mamedov said, referring to Hitler’s Nazis.
Faradzhev said the helicopter, bearing Red Cross markings and escorted by two MI-24 helicopters of the former Soviet army, succeeded in picking up only the three children before Armenian militants opened fire.
“When we began to pick up bodies, they started firing at us,” he said.
Faradzhev said they were on the ground for only 15 minutes.
“The combat helicopters fired red flares to signal that Armenians were approaching and it was time to leave,” he said.
The journalists said it was difficult to say how many people had been killed in surrounding areas. Reuters photographer Frederique Lengaigne saw two trucks full of Azeri corpses near Agdam.
“In the first one I counted 35 and it looked as though there were almost as many in the second. Some had their heads cut off and many had been burned. They were all men and a few had been wearing khaki uniforms,” she said.
Los Angeles Times / The Salt Lake Tribune (1992, March 5)
Massacre is latest tragedy in Azerbaijani-Armenian war
The horror of the scene overpowered him, Azerbaijani Television cameraman Chingiz Mustafayev said Wednesday at a Moscow news conference called to bring world attention to the deaths at Khojaly, the Nagorno-Karabakh town stormed by Armenian militants last week.
The field of corpses that Mustafayev said he taped Friday lies east of Khojaly, between the Armenian towns of Askeran and Nakhichevanik, on the escape route that Khojaly residents took toward the nearest Azerbaijani town, Agdam.
Los Angeles Times (1992, Jun 12)
600 Azerbaijanis Slain at Khojaly.
More than 600 Azerbaijanis, most of them civilians, were killed by Armenian forces during a bloody February engagement in the Nagorno-Karabakh town of Khojaly, the chief of the official Azerbaijani investigation said Thursday.
“The figure of 600 dead is a minimum. But it will take several more months for us to reach a final list,” state prosecutor Aydin Rasulov said. Rasulov heads a 15-man team investigating what is known in Azerbaijan as “the Khojaly Disaster.”
The first official reports said that 184 people had died, but that was only the number that could be initially examined by Azerbaijan’s forensic scientists.
According to the scientists’ findings, fatalities included 51 women and 13 children. Gunshots killed 151 of the 184; axes and other instruments were used to kill 10, they said. Explosions killed three people hiding in a snowbound forest outside the town. The other 20 people were killed by shrapnel.
Francois Zen Ruffinen, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Baku, said that the Muslim imam of the city of Agdam near Khojaly has reported a total of 580 bodies, mostly those of civilians, that were received at his mosque from Khojaly.
“We do not count the bodies. But the figure seems reasonable. It is no fantasy,” Zen Ruffinen said. “We have some idea since we gave the body bags and products to wash the dead.” 
Austin American Statesman / Goldberg, Carey (1992, Mar 05)
Azerbaijanis accuse Armenians of massacre.
At Wednesday’s news conference, which included eyewitness accounts and official comments, Azerbaijani presidential adviser Rasim Agayev also accused the last regiment of former Soviet soldiers left in Nagorno-Karabakh of participating in the assault on Khodzhaly.
Khodzhaly residents believe the regiment helped in the town’s capture, because, they said, they were surrounded on three sides by at least 40 armored vehicles. The field of corpses that Mustafayev said he taped Friday lies east of Khodzhaly on the escape route that residents took toward the nearest Azerbaijani town, Agdam.
Oleg Aliev, a 40-year-old Khojaly bookkeeper who survived the assault, said a large group of people fleeing the fighting had just emerged from the forest into the field when at least two armored vehicles manned by Armenian fighters, apparently waiting in ambush, opened machine-gun fire on them.
“They thought they had already reached a safe place,” he said of his neighbors and relatives.
“They were just a little ways from Agdam. And then they were all shot.” 
Reuter/ Newsday (1992, Mar 03)
Grisly Body Count Azeri civilians massacred by Armenians
Azeri officials who returned from the scene to this town about nine miles away brought back three dead children, the backs of their heads blown off. At the local mosque, six other bodies lay stretched out, fully clothed, with their limbs frozen in the positions in which they were killed. Their faces were black from the cold.
Those who returned from a brief visit by helicopter to Khojaly, captured by the Armenians last week, said they had seen similar sights – only more. One Russian journalist said he had counted about 30 bodies within a radius of 50 yards from where the helicopter landed.
“Women and children had been scalped,” said Assad Faradzhev, an aide to Karabakh’s Azeri governor.
The bodies could be seen lying in the mountains between Agdam and Khojaly. Faradzhev told Reuters the helicopter, bearing Red Cross markings and escorted by two MI-24 helicopters of the former Soviet army, succeeded in picking up only the three children before Armenian militants opened fire. 
Chicago Sun-Times ( 1992, Mar 03)
Azerbaijanis still unburied a week after massacre.
The journalists saw the corpses in the hills above the village of Askeran, between Agdam and Khojaly. Azerbaijani authorities and refugees said more than 1,000 people were killed after Armenian forces attacked the village of Khodjali – inhabited by Azerbaijanis – last Tuesday.
The attack was said to have come as refugees fled an onslaught on the airport of Nagorno-Karabakh’s main town, Stepanakert, situated near Khodjali, a village of 3,000 people.
The corpses and their personal effects were spread over 200 yards on the barren hills.
The corpse of a woman clutched her baby in death, drawing tears from the Azerbaijani militiamen accompanying the journalists.
Apparently, the refugees scarcely had time to dress before fleeing. Many had their arms spread wide, as if they had tried to surrender.
According to the pilot of one of the helicopters, several dozen corpses were still in the nearby woods, but too close to Armenian positions on the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh to be viewed.
The 20 bodies recovered by the volunteers were stacked in piles. They had been gathered during a fragile truce with Armenian fighters a few hundred yards away.
Zakhid Dzhabarov, a 32-year old Khodjali worker, said he lost his wife and son in what he described as the “massacre” by the Armenians.
He said about 60 bodies were collected Monday, and about 50 residents and fighters from Khodjali had been buried since Wednesday.
Dzhabarov said several hundred Khodjali refugees reached the hills between Askeran and Nakhichevanik at dawn last Wednesday. Then, he said, “two armored vehicles opened fire without warning.”
“Everyone began to run, and tried to return to the forest. Armenian infantrymen came up from Askeran, and opened fire on everything that moved.”
He said he saved himself by diving into a snow-filled ditch with three friends. The Armenians captured 300 people after surrounding them in the woods, he said.
“The 200 others were killed, or wounded and finished off at point-blank range,” he said.
According to Dzhabarov, “youths, old men, and women then came from Askeran and looted the corpses.”
The Boston Globe (March 4, 1992)
Exiting troops attacked in Nagorno-Karabakh Withdrawal halted; Armenians blamed.
More video footage and reports from Khojaly paint a grim picture of widespread civilian deaths and mutilation. On central TV last night, footage showed bodies of civilians littered around the countryside near Khojaly. One woman’s feet appeared to have been bound.
Azerbaijani accounts of the attack, notably by the town’s mayor, said that 1,000 people either had been killed by Armenian irregulars or had died of exposure after they fled the Armenians’ attack.
Azerbaijani officials in the town of Agdam, a few miles east of Khojaly, say that so far 400 bodies have been recovered in the aftermath of the attack.
The Boston Globe (March 4, 1992)
Armenians, Azeris tell of terror Behind an alleged massacre, a long trail of personal revenge.
KHOJALY, Azerbaijan — Khojaly is empty and shattered, and the smell of burning still hangs over charred houses. Helmets with holes drilled in them lie in deserted trenches, and bullet-riddled walls — inside some of the buildings, as well as on the outside — testify to the intensity of one of the fiercest and most controversial battles in the war for control of Nagorno-Karabakh.
On the night of Feb. 25-26 Armenian forces attacked the Azerbaijani-controlled settlement inside the disputed region with armor and as many as 1,000 fighters. By early morning they had gained control of the small but strategically vital settlement — five minutes by car from the Armenian-held capital, Stepanakert, and the site of the mountainous enclave’s only large airstrip.
Conversations in Khojaly and Stepanakert with police and military officers, including Russians, Belorussians and other citizens of the former Soviet Union who are now fighting as volunteers alongside ethnic Armenians in the enclave, make it clear that something terrible happened. The fighters do not deny that there were atrocities. 
The Province (1992, March 5)
Women, children slain’: Survivors tell of massacre by Armenians
AGDAM, Azerbaijan – Clutching handfuls of dirt, Zoya Abulfat wailed pitifully yesterday over the grave of her brother.
He died trying to save children from a relentless Armenian massacre in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, relatives said.
According to Azerbaijani officials, about 1,000 people, including women and children, were killed as they tried to flee the town in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh last week.
Yesterday, survivors from Khojaly told of the slaughter.
“We tried to fight back but they had tanks and armored personnel carriers,” a man said. “We had only automatic rifles and grenades.
“Nearly all the defenders died. I was frozen and ran into the woods. As the women ran into the woods, they were shot at.”
As he spoke, Khojaly women beat their chests over a coffin draped in black cloth. Inside was the body of a decapitated man.
In Moscow, Azerbaijani authorities condemned Armenians for “genocide” and showed a film of the mutilated bodies of women, children and elderly men allegedly shot while fleeing Khojaly.
TV cameraman Chingiz Mustafayev, who shot the film, sobbed as he panned over the bodies of a child clutching its mother, half of whose face had been shot away.
A small girl lay like a discarded doll. An old man was stretched out, his arms high over his head as if in surrender.
A boy found alive among the bodies said Armenian fighters had demanded money from fleeing Azerbaijanis, then shot them if they had nothing to hand over. The boy, shot in a leg, later died from hypothermia.
“There was no conflict,” Mustafayev said. “Here lay defenceless women and children. They could have been killed only for pleasure.”
Business Week / Juliette Rossant (1992, March 30)
Centuries of Hatred, Moments of Horror
I’ll be the last person onto the helicopter–if I make it. I’m the only woman, and as I climb in, a soldier grabs my arm to pull me back out. I struggle through the door, scramble over the camera bags of six fellow journalists, and settle in next to an Azeri soldier holding a Kalishnikov.
No one drags me out. But do I really want in? There’s nothing to hold onto, no straps and no seats, let alone seat belts. Orders to sit are yelled back in Russian. Out on the tarmac of Agdam’s crude airport, two other helicopters also have started up their engines.
We think we’re going to Khodjali, a town of 6,000 Azeris in the predominantly Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh within the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. This is where Christian Armenians and Moslem Azeris are waging the latest installment of an age-old blood feud. Earlier this winter, two Azeri helicopters with VIPs aboard were shot down, and there has been heavy fighting ever since. The Armenians, armed with Soviet weapons, have the upper hand, and refugees arriving in Agdam have told wild stories of Armenians massacring hundreds of Azeris around Khodjali.
Our MI-24 is piloted by a Russian mercenary and armed with powerful cannons. All three helicopters in the flight have camouflage painting but are marked “Aeroflot,” the name of the old Soviet airline. It’s late February, and the wind blasts in through the open gunport as we scud toward the dark, snow-tipped Karabakh Mountains. We flash over Azeri fortified positions, then, on a hilltop, an Armenian machine-gun nest.
DEADLY DANCE. There’s a thump on the side of the helicopter, then yelling in the cockpit. We’re hit, and we bank violently. I’m losing my balance–we’re all caught up in a jumble of winter clothing, camera gear, and each other.
Amid the dizzying maneuvers, I glimpse a window full of serene blue sky. We level off, and the starboard cannons fire three bursts, filling the cabin with acrid smoke. “What’s happening?” I shout. One of my colleagues turns around, smiling. He shrugs and yells something drowned out by the rotors. I try to smile back, but strangely, I can’t move my lips–because of the cold, the terror, whatever. It will take hours for my emotions to catch up with the shock of what I’m now experiencing second by second.
A British reporter shrieks as glaring red balls of tracer fire grow bigger and bigger and then hurtle by, only yards away, it seems. Through the window, there are now not two but three helicopters spinning around in a dance. The third is Armenian, and it’s firing on us. I sprawl as the MI-24 lurches into another evasive maneuver. As soon as I can tell up from down, I strain to see what’s going on, and the soldier at the window shifts a bit to make room for me to spot five bodies in bright civilian clothing down below on the dry hillside. One of the other copters in our flight touches down to retrieve the corpses.
Our mission–finding a sufficiently gory massacre site to dramatize the Azeri plight for Western journalists–is apparently accomplished, so we return to Agdam. Men crowd around the airlifted corpses, now in the back of a cattle truck. A small child, clothes ripped, body mangled, lies beside two old men, their stiff limbs sticking into the air.
I had been in military helicopters before, in Iraq and Turkey, in the wake of the gulf war, but never in combat. A few hours earlier, the concept of doing something I would probably never get another chance to do had intrigued me. How could that have been, I wonder now. My feelings are mixed. I want the whole experience to end, to erase itself. To be totally honest, though, the excitement also has addictive powers.
NO TICKET OUT. It’s dark now as we head into Agdam itself, a city of about 120,000. Guns are firing somewhere. The empty streets sparkle with glass shattered by 30 or more rockets that rained down the day before. Half the town seems to be at the railroad station, frantic to get out, like I am. I’ve seen enough for my story, and I’m scared. Everyone is trying to cram into the night train for Baku, the Azerbaijan capital. The Russian stationmaster has given up issuing tickets, and I give up on the train.
The only place still serving food in town is a small teahouse behind the main mosque. Police officials and Baku businessmen trying to evacuate their relatives huddle over tea. One man has a paper bag under his seat: Someone dear to him had perished in the rocket attack, and the bag holds the remains, an arm.
Down the street a bit, at his station, a mustachioed police captain, Rafik Kasimov, tells me that the racist Russians are in cahoots with the Armenians, which is probably true. No one is helping the Azeri side, he laments. “I have no gun,” he says. “I cannot do anything.” A colonel comes in to tell us with a gold-toothed grin that the battlefront is only one or two kilometers away, but Kasimov nudges me not to believe him.
I join a group of refugees and mourners at the mosque. Three women have scratched their cheeks bloody, part of the Shiite mourning ritual. Aliev Aslan, a farmer from Khodjali, tells his tale of Armenian terror. “From the hill, I looked back on the town, and they were destroying our houses with tanks, shooting at people trying to leave.” He falls to the ground and mimics how he crawled away with his wife.
Back at the railroad station, a hospital train is on a siding. One car is used as an operating room, another as a ward. Boris Hamdov, a dazed 13-year-old sitting on a dirty bunk, can’t grasp the gum I offer because his hands are so swollen. Old cloth covers the gangrene spreading on his legs and feet. He doesn’t know it yet, but one leg will have to be amputated. In the boy’s three-day trek to safety, he lost his shoes, and his feet froze. He watched neighbors die in the flight. His mother was captured by the Armenians, he says, and he doesn’t know where the rest of his family is. “I ran off into the forest,” he says simply.
The welter of startling experiences finally subsides, and as I edge out of the crowded hospital car, the tears come.
Compiled by Khojaly.org
- New York Times (1992, March, 3). Massacre by Armenians Being Reported. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/03/world/massacre-by-armenians-being-reported.html ^
- Thomas Goltz (1992, March, 4). The Washington Post Survivors Describe Armenian Attack, p.16. ^
- Reuters (1992, March 2). Toronto Star – Azeris bid to find victims of alleged refugee massacre ^
- Juliet O’Neill. (1992, March 2). NAGORNO-KARABAKH; ESCAPE THROUGH THE SNOW; Azeri villagers flee Armenian troops across mountains :[Final Edition]. The Ottawa Citizen,p. A2. ^
- Brian Killen, Reuters.Chicago Tribune (1992, March 3). Massacre leaves dozens dead in Azeri region , pg. 2 ^
- Los Angeles Times (1992, March 5). The Salt Lake Tribune Massacre is latest tragedy in Azerbaijani-Armenian war. ^
- Pope, H. (1992, Jun 12). 600 azerbaijanis slain at khojaly, investigator says civil war: Ethnic battle with armenians in february was the bloodiest since the soviet breakup. Los Angeles Times (Pre-1997 Fulltext), pp. 6-6. ^
- Goldberg, C. (1992, Mar 05). Azerbaijanis accuse armenians of massacre. Austin American Statesman, pp. A.17-A17. ^
- Reuter. (1992, Mar 03). Grisly body count azeri civilians massacred by armenians. Newsday, pp. 14-14. ^
- Stephane Bentura. “Azerbaijanis still unburied a week after massacre.” Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times News Group. March 3, 1992 ^
- Paul Quinn-Judge, Globe Staff. “Exiting troops attacked in Nagorno-Karabakh Withdrawal halted; Armenians blamed.” The Boston Globe (Boston, MA). ^
- Paul Quinn-Judge, Globe Staff. “Armenians, Azeris tell of terror Behind an alleged massacre, a long trail of personal revenge.” The Boston Globe ^
- ‘Women, children slain’: Survivors tell of massacre by Armenians. (1992, March 5). The Province,p. A26 ^
- Juliette Rossant (1992, March 30). Centuries of hatred, Moments of terror. BusinessWeek. Retrieved March 23, 2012 from BusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com/archives/1992/b325812.arc.htm.^ ^