The government of Azerbaijan, backed by activists abroad, is engaging in a campaign to gain international recognition of the 1992 massacre of over 400 Azeri civilians by Armenian forces in the village of Khojaly during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. While the promoters of Khojaly recognition say their goal is to honor the victims of the massacre, there is also a clear foreign policy element to the campaign.
On the night of February 25-26, 1992, hundreds of Azeri residents of Khojaly were killed as they tried to flee from their village, which had been encircled by Armenian forces. By Azerbaijani official accounts, 485 died in the incident.
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Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC-based writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. He is the editor of EurasiaNet's Bug Pit blog.