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Children victims of Armenian agression against Azerbaijan during the ceasefire

Мадина Ник-Наджат специально для

Семья ШахмалыевыхShakhmaliyev family before the tragedy.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Many people hear this word combination and do not care much. Conflicts are widespread, they may happen in families, between generations, on a professional baseis, etc. A conflict can arise around some disputes. However, it is an undisputable fact that Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan, both from historical and international law points of view. The term "The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict" is used to camouflage the true nature of the actions of Armenia. Actually it is an unproved claim to the territory of a sovereign neighbouring country. This is robbery, piracy on land and there is no place to appeal to any legal norms and morals...

As a journalist I often visit towns and villages in the zone of ceasefire on the front line. The ceasefire agreement was signed in Bishkek in May 1994. One of such regions is a village Alibeyli of Tovuz District, which is situated not far from the boarder between Azerbaijan and Armenia. This area is not related to Karabakh, however, the village is being almost daily shelled from the Berd region of Armenia, located on the opposite side. This is the very place where the event illustrating the moral character of the Armenian aggressors occurred.

On 14 July 2011 I got a phone call. Due to my profession I have faced many challenges in my life, but what I heard that time had affected me so much that people around me noticed the reaction in my face and started to ask:
" What? What happened?"

I was said that a 13 year-old girl Aygyn Shakhmaliyeva, who was walking near the local river, saw some kind of a toy floating on the water. The girl brought the toy home, put it on the table, and it exploded. It was found out that the toy had been loaded with an explosive device and dropped into the river from what was believed to be its Armenian side  facing the Azerbaijan side. The explosive killed the girl, and her 32-year-old mother Elnara Shakhmaliyeva was taken to hospital with a heavily wounded hip.

When we arrived in Alibeyli the funeral procession had already started. Lots of people, almost the whole village, came to say their last goodbyes to the girl, who died at such a young age.

We found out that the Shakhmalievs' had been living in St. Petersburg for a long time and once a year, usually in summer, they came home to visit their relatives. During that visit they were planning to participate in the wedding of a relative. They even got return tickets to St. Petersburg on the 22nd of August.

The room where the explosion occurred had already been sealed by investigating authorities, but one could see a part of the damaged ceiling and other signs of destruction and chaos made by the explosion through the brocken window.

Elsever Gasanoglu, Aygun's cousin, told us more details of the incident. " We went for a walk near the river. I swam and when I was going out of water, I saw a toy dog near the shore. I even pushed it away. Then Aygun took it. I told her not to take it, but the kid who was with us started to cry. He wanted to take that toy. Aygun took the toy and we went home.

When she placed it on the table the toy immediately exploded".
It is necessary to note that a similar accident occurred in Alibeyli in 1994, when another child picked up a toy from the river. Two children were killed by the exploded toy that time.

The villagers say that they are usually connected to the river - they wash their carpets, kazans, and things alike, children and teenagers like to swim and play in the river or near it. Domestic animals drink water from the river. However, in recent years there were cases, when cows fell ill by drinking water from the river (signs of poisoning were investigated by veterinarians). Probably something toxic is being dumped to the river from the Armenian side, because women, who clean and wash their carpets in the river, get skin problems. In short, the river is not already safe.

It is clear that war and hatred are synonyms. However, any war must have permitted limits. Here, as we can see, this hatred doesn't spare either nature or animals or civilians and children. This is a true meaning of what was diplomatically named  "The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict".


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