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Azerbaijan Resumes Probe Into Xocali Killings

3 August 2005 -- The office of Azerbaijan's military prosecutor says it has reopened a criminal investigation into the killing of dozens of ethnic Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

The investigation had been suspended since March 1994.

A statement released today by Azerbaijan's military prosecutor says nearly 350 residents of Xocali, a predominantly Azerbaijani town of Karabakh, were killed in February 1992 soon after the poorly defended area fell into Armenian hands.

Earlier official figures released in Baku had put the number of civilians killed in Xocali at nearly 500.

The Azerbaijani military prosecutor's office also says it has opened a criminal investigation into the February 1992 killing of nearly 50 residents of Qaradagli, an ethnic Azerbaijani village of the predominantly ethnic Armenian separatist enclave.