Khojali, also called Khojaly, Khodjaly and Hojaly, is a rayon in the Nagorno-Karabakh break away region of Azerbaijan, now under the control of armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Its capital is Khojali. The region was once a site of prehistoric Khojaly-Gadabay culture. It was the location of the Khojaly Massacre in February 1992. The local government has designated it as Askeran Region.
During the Soviet period, Khojali was a village in the Askeran rayon of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. As the Karabakh conflict started, the Azerbaijani government began to implement a plan to create a new district center. From 1988 to 1990 the population of Khojali increased from 2135 to 6000 residents, mostly consisting of immigrants from Soviet Central Asia (including more than 2000 Meskhetian Turks) and Armenia (about 2000). In April 1990 Azerbaijan abolished the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and its internal divisions. Khojali was given city status and became the regional center for the newly created Khojali Rayon composed of the former Askeran rayon and part of Martuni.
Khojaly was captured by ethnic Armenian forces on 26 February 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. The name became internationally notable after the Khojaly Massacre of February 1992.In 2001 the settlement was renamed Ivanyan, after the late general of the Karabakh Defense Army, Kristapor Ivanyan.In February 2010, media reported a claim by the Azeri-Czech Society that representatives of the Azeri administration of Khojaly in exile and the Czech town of Lidice were to sign an agreement making Khojaly and Lidice sister cities and that a street in Lidice was to be named "Khojali". In March 2012, reports quoted the Mayor of Lidice, Veronika Kellerova, as officially stating that Lidice and Khojali had never been sister cities. She further repudiated reports that there exists a street named 'Khojaly' in Lidice.[