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Pennsylvania General Assembly recognizes Khojaly Massacre

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The General Assembly of the U.S. State of Pennsylvania has adopted a resolution recognizing the Khojaly Massacre. The resolution No. 171 was introduced by Members of the House of Representatives Thomas Murt (prime sponsor), Vanessa Lowery Brown, Thomas Caltagirone, Mark Cohen, Gordon Denlinger, Mauree Gingrich, Tim Hennessey, Dick Hess, William Kortz, Nicholas Micozzie, David Millard, Harry Readshaw, and Curtis Sonney.
The resolution says February 26, 2013, marks the 21st anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre in Azerbaijan, adding the observance of this tragic date inspires reflection by individuals across the globe.
The resolution says that on February 25 and 26, 1992, Armenian armed forces, accompanied by military troops of the former Soviet Union, attacked and occupied the besieged town of Khojaly as part of the armed aggression and ethnic cleansing that had been taking place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan since 1988.
It notes that when the residents of the town attempted to flee the area, they were fired on by the Armenian and Soviet troops, resulting in the largest massacre of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“It is estimated that 613 civilians were killed, 150 civilians went missing, 487 civilians were wounded and 1,270 civilians were taken hostage. The massacre was reported by major news organizations and has been viewed by the Human Rights Watch/Helsinki organization as a violation of customary law
regarding the treatment of civilians in war zones. This tragic event is a sobering reminder of the terrible carnage that can be inflicted in wartime and the enduring need for greater understanding, communication and tolerance among people,” the resolution emphasizes.
The resolution also praises the role of the U.S. Azeris Network in promoting the awareness of the Khojaly Massacre in the United States.
“The U.S. Azeris Network coordinates with Azerbaijani-American communities to educate others about important events in the history of Azerbaijan. The U.S. Azeris Network plays a pivotal role in preserving the memory of this terrible tragedy and through its efforts, the legacy of those who died will never be forgotten.”
The Members of the House of Representatives resolved that the copies of the resolution “be transmitted to the United States Department of State, the United States embassy in Azerbaijan and to each member of Congress from Pennsylvania”.
Pennsylvania became the 11th U.S. State to recognize the Khojaly Massacre after Massachusetts, Texas, Maine, New Jersey, Georgia, New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

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