Saїd Pasha to Mavroyeni Bey
The assertions of the London Daily News are entirely distorted. The facts are as follows:
The Armenian brigands, furnished with arms from foreign sources, have joined Kurdish insurgents in order to commit excesses, and have burned and devastated Mussulman villages near Sassoun. The ferocity of the Armenian bands was such that they have, among other acts, burned a Mussulman alive, after having introduced fulminating substances into his stomach. Regular troops have been sent to the spot with orders to place the peaceable inhabitants under full shelter from all depredations; and, to the contrary of the calumnies which have been spread with regard to this military expedition, our troops have not only protected and respected the submissive part of the population, as well as the women and children, but they have, in loyal fulfillment of their duty, restored public order and tranquillity to the satisfaction of all.
It has been alleged, also, that the Kurds have seized the furniture, belongings, and cattle of the Armenian fugitives. Such is not the case. It is the brigands themselves who carried them away into the mountains before rising in revolt, and intrusted them to the keeping of their Kurdish associates. Neither is it true that the Kurds have abducted some Armenian women. These women, composing the families of the above-mentioned bandits, resorted of their own accord to the country of the insurgent Kurds. As regards the Armenian villages said to have been destroyed, it is precisely the Armenians who carried everything away from their own villages before giving themselves up to brigandage. It has been likewise alleged that the Armenians have been oppressed and maltreated by the Kurdish tribe of the Bakranli. This fact is entirely disproved. And what is more, the unfortunate man who was tortured and burned by the Armenians belonged to the tribe in question.