The Revival of the Karabakh Conflict


On 10 April 1992, the Armenian village of Maragha was attacked by the Azerbaijani Army. Reports from Human Rights Watch, Helsinki have recreated the events from eyewitness reports. The Armenian forces tried to defend the village, but was soon forced to retreat and abandon the village with its inhabitants, which at the time consisted principally of elderly and disabled who could not be evacuated, but were forced to take cover in basements and bomb shelters. However, the Armenian forces managed to regain the village the next day, on April 11. When the entered into the village, they found several dead bodies of the villagers, many mulitated and seriously damaged, where among other the eyes were missing or heads were decapitated. While the Armenian side claims that as many as 100 people had been killed off, the Human Rights Watch stated 43 dead and up to 50 kidnapped in its official report on the massacre.[81] In a 1993 report Amnesty International cites the figure of 45 dead.[82] The reasons for the massacre remains unknown, but many believe that the attack was an act of revenge for the events in Khojaly, two months earlier that year.

One detail that should be noted is that, while there are conflicting opinions about the events in Khojaly and the Armenian side specifically rejects the Azeri version of what happened in Khojaly, the same can not be said for the events in Maragha. The Armenian allegations and reports from the Human Watch and Amnesty has not been refuted or challenged in the same manner and extent as the events in Khojaly.


81) Rachel Denber and Robert K. Goldman, Bloodshed in the Caucasus: escalation of the armed conflict in Nagorno Karabakh, New York: Helsinki Watch, 1992.
82) Amnesty International, Country Dossier List 1993 Europe, DOC 32/04/94, Country Dossier List, 1993