They arrived after fleeing, typically with out even having taken the time to pack a suitcase.
“A girl from the village stayed behind and so they slit her throat,” says Hayrepetian, recounting an anecdote from two separatist troopers.
Steps away, Alina Alaverdyan, 69, grimaces as she mentions the hearsay “of the rape of the daughter-in-law” of an acquaintance.
“The form of issues that get into your thoughts,” she says.
“They don’t seem to be human. They’re canines.”
Each household in Nagorno-Karabakh has heard such rumours, not possible to verify and virtually at all times obtained second-hand.
There are quite a few accounts of infants being decapitated or younger ladies being raped.
But a lot of the refugees admit that they didn’t encounter any Azerbaijani troopers earlier than fleeing.
Based on the testimonies gathered by AFP, Baku’s military usually didn’t enter cities and villages, confining itself to the strategic heights and roads.
An exodus adopted, generally spontaneously and generally on the instigation of native authorities.
“We have been instructed to go away and in quarter-hour it was carried out,” says Marine Poghosyan, 58, insisting they might not return to Karabakh below any circumstance.
“I would quite reside right here in a tent than return there.”
A territory of lower than 3,200 sq km – slightly bigger than Luxembourg – Karabakh has suffered 4 conflicts in current historical past.
The primary, between Armenia and Azerbaijan lasted from 1988 to 1994, and resulted in 30,000 deaths and the exodus of tons of of hundreds of Azerbaijanis and Armenians.
That was adopted by quite a few outbreaks of violence and wars in 2016, after which in 2020 when 6,500 died in six weeks and Armenia suffered a crushing defeat – and now the temporary warfare in 2023.
Every refugee spoke of getting misplaced at the least one brother, son or husband in fight.
Photographs of alleged warfare crimes and atrocities, for which both sides blamed the opposite, have begun to unfold on-line.
“We discuss all this amongst ourselves. We’re going out of our minds,” mentioned Alina Alaverdyan, a former army caterer who recalled that in Soviet instances, “the Azerbaijanis have been good”.
“On this area, the Caucasus, there’ll by no means be peace,” mentioned Hayrapetyan’s husband, who declined to offer his identify.
“There’ll at all times be wars, generally overt, generally covert.”