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Genocide has occurred since ancient times When a group or a nation conquered another group it was common practice to kill all the mencivilians and soldiers bothof the conquered group In the 20th century mass killing increasingly became a part of some nations ways to achieve political goals During World War I 1914-1918 the Turkish nationalist government oversaw the deportation and killing of an estimated 11 to 18 million Armenians in Eastern Turkey April 24 1915 was the beginning of the 1915 Armenian Genocide Hundreds of Armenian religious political and intellectual leaders were gathered up exiled and even murdered in areas of Anatolia Within the next few months Armenians serving in the Ottoman army were disarmed and placed in forced labor battalions where they were either starved or executed Armenians were deported from cities towns and villages in Asia Minor and Turkish Armenia Men and older boys were the first to be executed Unprotected women children and elderly were marched for weeks into the Syrian Desert where the majority of them died on the way because of starvation disease and massacres They were poorly fed and clothed and most died from starvation Those that did not were taken out by the hundreds made to dig their own graves and then shot The Armenians who managed to escape went to other countries such as Syria Lebanon Russia United States Europe and Iran Survivors sometimes had to eat grass or picked grains out of animal manure in order to stay alive During the deportations Armenians were very desperate Women often had to leave their small children at the side of the road in order to increase their own chances of survival Others with more than one child would leave the weakest behind Social scientists estimate that since the end of World War II at least 16 nations have attempted or committed genocide Genocide has occurred in countries in Africa the Americas Asia and in Europe Today
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