Society 15:35 10/04/2015

Maragha massacre eyewitnesses: Dismembered corpses were all around, many people were crushed under tanks

Former inhabitant of the village Maragha, Elmira Sahakyan, lost her husband, son and father-in-law as a result of the massacres of Armenians there.

“The Azerbaijanis all over the world spread their tales about Khojalu, yet Karabakh war is not Khojalu. Karabakh war is Maragha where everything was much worse. They burnt people alive, cut off their heads, dismembered and sawed them alive, carved Christian crosses on their bodies and then threw them to be torn apart by wild dogs. They beheaded a man and then hang his head on a pole. And the whole thing happened because they were Armenians. Those are not people, those are bloodsuckers. I lost my husband and my son during those days. I was among those few people to be able to escape and be saved. Later when we came back to the village we witnessed a fearsome scene: rivers of blood were flowing along Maragha’s streets, dismembered corpses with innards everted lay all around. It is just impossible to describe that,” Elmira Sahakyan remembers.

Vazgen Gabrielyan, former inhabitant of the village Maragha that was crucified by the Azerbaijanis:

“On that occasion they carried in heavy machinery: tanks, APCs, IFVs. It is impossible to fight against tanks without anti-tank mines, and they were able to break through the defense in some places and enter the village. I tried to hide the youth in the cellars or across the river. The Azerbaijanis did not mercy anyone – either women, or children, or the old people. According to Azerbaijan’s misanthropic policy, they were to be tortured and killed for being Armenian. My niece’s ability to reason grew dull because of the horrible scene of the violence. She opened the door to run towards the Azerbaijani tanks. I shouted, ‘Where are you going?’ I was hardly able to drug her forcefully and push her into the cellar. Then I saw our neighbor, a 70-year-old woman. They had cut her throat. They flatly crushed many people under the tanks, or tied them onto the tanks dragging along the ground,” Vazgen Gabrielyan says.

Maragha was founded on the spot of an ancient Armenian settlement, and the Armenians displaced from Persia were settled here on the first half of the 19th century. Azerbaijan’s military aggression towards the blockaded Nagorno Karabakh was at its height by the spring of 1992. An attack was carried out against Maragha on 26 February, 1992 at night. It stood out among the previous ones being particularly organized and intense. Maragha inhabitants’ testimonies leave no room to doubt: the crime committed in Maragha on April 10 had been planned for February 26. Unable to succeed on February 26, the Azerbaijani authorities set on intensive preparations for the second attack. Maragha was being defended by a small detachment of volunteers from the civilians. The contemporary Golgotha broke out on 10 April, 1992 early in the morning. According to incomplete data, of the 118 remaining inhabitants of Maragha, around 50 were killed and 60 taken hostages. According to the eyewitnesses’ testimonies, every 10th fighter in the Azerbaijani detachments was armed not only with a machine-gun, but also with a yataghan, the main weapon the Turkish slaughterers used during the Armenian Genocide at the beginning of the 20th century.

With the efforts of the Information and Public Relations Center of the Administration of the President of Armenia the truth about the genocide in Maragha became more widely-known and replicated. The documentary “Maragha, 10 April 1992. An Ordinary Genocide was shot, the eyewitness testimonies, photos and videos taken on that fearsome day were compiled and published on various websites, the website is operating. 

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