Azerbaijani serviceman killed as nation marks anniversary of events in Khojaly.
27 February 2014

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence said that one of its serviceman was killed when Armenian forces opened fire on Wednesday afternoon. The victim, Shahin Nohbalayev, was a junior sergeant. There was no indication as to where the incident occured. Cease fire violations decreased considerably during the period of the Sochi Olympic Games when both sides agreed to observe an "Olympic truce", but have been increasing again over the last days.

This was the first fatality reported since the end of the Games and it came as Azerbaijan was marking the 22nd anniversary of the events in the town of Khojaly where hundreds of Azerbaijanis, including civilians, were killed at the height of the Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan characterises the Khojaly events as a genocide. The anniversary was marked in Azerbaijan with a one minute silence during which all traffic stopped and flags were lowered.

Azerbaijani diplomatic missions and civil society organisations have also marked the anniversary.

On their part Armenians also commemorate at the end of February events in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait where in 1988, in one of the first major incidents of the conflict, ethnic violence erupted leaving many dead.

source: with agencies.

photo: Traffic stops in Baku as the nation marked the 22nd anniversary of the Khojaly events. (picture courtesy of APA).