Thousands of Armenians mourn WWI-era mass killings

April 24, 2009 17:40

Thousands of Armenians are marking the anniversary of what they call the 1915 genocide despite a diplomatic thaw between Armenia and Turkey. They marched through Armenia's capital of Yerevan on Friday holding torches and candles on the killings' 94th anniversary. Some protesters burned Turkish flags. Many carried banners blaming neighboring Turkey for the "blood of millions" and called on its government to recognize the killings as genocide. Armenia says up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Turks in what was then the Ottoman Empire. Turkey says the killings occurred at a time of civil conflict and that the casualty figures are inflated. Armenia and Turkey said Thursday they are close to restoring full relations after 15 years of disagreements and reopening their shared border.

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