State Comission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons


On November 28, 1985, the prominent Armenian terrorist, the leader of Armenian terrorist organization ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia) Monte Melkonian was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in France. He had released from prison in 1990, after that he immediately went to Armenia and in order to pursue its terror activities was sent to Nagorno-Karabakh. During the occupation of Khajavend district of Azerbaijan Republic, he was the commander of Armenian terrorist unit. The current president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan personally appointed him to this position.

On February, 1992, under the leadership of Monte Melkonian, Armenian armed forces, and specially trained terrorist units “Arabo” and “Aramo” simultaneously attacked to the encircled from all sides Garadaghly village of Khajavend district. Investigations reveal that the servicemen of 366th Russian regiment also took part in the occupation of Garadaghly. The brother of Monte Melkonian, Markar Melkonian in his book “My Brother"s Road: An American"s Fateful Journey to Armenia” (the book has been released in New York in 2005) writes: “Nine years earlier Monte had written in his manual for the training of a People"s Fighter that “The command to open fire in an ambush should be given by the commander in the form of his own firing on the enemy (it is preferable to begin firing with a B-7 grenade launcher or any other weapon that will cause immediate heavy losses, if such a weapon is available)”. Now he coolly shouldered a B-7, lined up his sights, and squeezed the trigger. With a white flash, the first round roared straight through second story corner window of the defence center and burst inside, sending a yellow flame back out the window. With that, the attackers began pouring lead into the village. Nelson, the subcommander from Pertashen, watched round-eyed as Monte fired, lowered the B-7 to observe his forces advance, shouted orders to the subcommanders (for lack of a walkie-talkie), and then coolly reloaded and fired again. 

Under a hail of bullets, the Azeri defenders radioed for back, informing their commanders on the Agdam plain a few kilometres to the North that they could not hold out much longer against the attack. From Monte"s position overlooking the Azeri defense center, he could hear gunshots inside the building. It occurred to him that the defenders, unable to agree on their course of action, were shooting at each other. When the defenders ceased returning fire, Monte laid down the b-7 watched his fellow attackers swarm into Karadaghlu from several sides.

By five the afternoon, the detachments had achieved their military goals. Only one fighter had been killed on the Armenian side that day, while two enemy fighters lay dead and forty-eight captured Azeris were herded into the bed of a truck. The captives would be transported to Stepanakert, where they would be until they could be exchanged for Armenian hostages in Azeri hands. It appeared as though Kharadaghlu, the first battle Monte had officially been charged with commanding, had proceeded smoothly to its conclusion.   

Soon however things changed. Arabo and Aramo fighters shoved thirty-eight captives, including several women and other noncomabtants, into a ditch on the outskirts of the village. One of the captives in the ditch pulled pin from a grenade  concealed under a bandaged hand and tossed it, taking off the lower leg of one of his captors, a recent Patriotic Detachment recruit named Levon. The Arabo and Aramo fighters there had already been hankering to “avenge” the death of another comrade the day before, so as soon as the grenade had gone off they began stabbing and shooting their captives, until every last one was dead. Shram Edo, one of the five Patriotic Detachment “boys” from Ashdarak, had joined into, dousing several wounded soldiers with gasoline and tossing a match to burn them alive. By the time Monte come across the ditch on the outskirts of the town it was a butcher"s scrap heap......

The Arabo and Aramo detachments hauled off all the weapons captured that day – seventy-eight rifles plus thousands of rounds of ammunition – and they emptied the village warehouse, too, dragging out tons of bagged wheat to sell. After the looting, they set the village ablaze.

A total of fifty-three Azeris were killed in and around Karadaghlu during those two days, compared to three killed on the Armenian side....

As news spread that Karadaghlu had been “cleaned out”, several delegates arrived from the village of Krasnyi Bazar, fifteen kilometers to the south... Now they fellow villages politely requested four of the Azeri captives for madagh – a blood sacrifice. It was written, after all: an eye for an eye...

More than fifty Azeri captives had been butchered at Karadaghlu. But it was not the butchery that damaged Monte"s reputation among, the Kharabagh mountain people. On the contrary, vengeance ran deep in the mountains, and the loudest voices on both sides demanded blood for blood” (Markar Melkonian My Brother"s Road, New York 2005, p.211-213).

The testimonies of Garadaghly residents that have been victims of the massacre absolutely confirm Melkonian words and simultaneously create more detailed description of the event.

Let"s consider statements:

- The testimony of Huseynov Ilgar Gardashkhan oglu (he has been released from Armenian captivity) – “On February 15, 1992, at 6 o"clock in the morning from all four sides, Armenian terrorist units attacked our village. We were 118 persons in the village. Of these 11 were women, the rest were men. The battle began, indeed we did not have any military equipment, but we worthily responded them.  One day we fought with them. From our side, 8 persons were killed, despite the decline of our numbers we continued to fight. We pulled out Armenians from the village. On 16 February, Armenians again began to attack the village. They had attacked with the military equipments, we could not withstand. From their side the majority of fighters were mercenaries. Their commander was Manvel (the name is conditional), according to some information the Armenian, who came from France. On February 17, at 3 o"clock they knew that our weapons had already finished, and therefore stopped the fire. Because they had many losses. They told each other that many of them were killed. One of the residents of our village was hit by the sticks and as a result of it killed inside of the village. Then they took 92 hostages towards Khankendy. When we achieved the place by the name “Beylikbagi”, 32 persons of us were shot. They did not calm down with this and therefore had cut off the heads of bodies, and then gathered heads into the bags. The bodies of killed people were filled to the silage-well. After 3 km moving, they shot another person, then one more person” (The testimony of Huseynov Ilgar Gardashkhan oglu, 22.11.2002 and 24.02.2003).

- The testimony of Tagiyev Tevon Habib oglu(he has been released from captivity) – “At the end of the 1991 Garadaghly village was encircled by Armenians that lived in the surrounding villages. The traffic to the village was cut off. Beginning from January of 1992, via helicopters, we began removing children and women from the village. Attacks to the village did not stop. In February helicopters did not come. The contact of the village with abroad was completely cut off. From 14 till 17 February, the attacks of Armenians had not been stopped. We were able to defend the village until the 17th of the month. There was no help from outside. Finally the bullets were over and Armenian armed forces have occupied the village. 8 people were killed during the war. They collected the bodies of Armenians that had died during the attack in front of the collective farm and filmed it. One woman journalist was preparing a program. They told to the whole world that these are the people that were killed by Azerbaijanis during the attack to the Armenian village. 177 residents of the village were gathered into the two trucks – young people and adults are separately – and led towards Khankendy. We did not reach the edge of the village, when they pulled two people down from the truck and shot. In the place by the name “Beylikbagi” that is located at 2 km from the village, they stopped following us car. Approximately the distance between us was 50-60 meters. In “Beylikbagi” Armenian women and children played and danced. They stopped car near them and ordered got down from the truck. Young people did not want to get down from the truck; therefore they opened fire and killed several people. People had forced to get down. In front of the eyes of the playing and dancing Armenian women and children, young men from Garadaghly had arrayed into the row and shot. My son Telman did not bear to this, he had pulled its hidden grenade pin, shouted and moved towards Armenians. The grenade exploded, Telman killed himself and 10 Armenians along with him. In “Beylikbagi”, Armenians killed 33 residents of Garadaghly. Then they had thrown the bodies into the nearby silage well and buried. After a little while, in Cemiyyet village, in front of the eyes of civilian Armenians, they shot two people. 5 km to Khankendy, they had pulled all people down from the truck and undressed all warm clothes. They on foot brought us to Khankendy. Along the way, civilian Armenians threw us stones and spat”. (The testimony of Tagiyev Tevon Habib oglu, 24.05.2003).

As a result of the occupation of Garadaghly village by armenian troops, currently 26 citizens of Azerbaijan Republic are registered in the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons as a missing person (date on February 15, 2017). There are witnesses of these, 15 persons taken prisoner and about the arrest. 50 residents of the village that were captured and taken hostage during the occupation have been released at different times; however have not been possible to restore their health. Of those 10 people were women and 24 were aged people (of theses 24, 9 are women).


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