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President Barack Obama calls it “one of the worst atrocities” of the 20th century — the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I.

Saturday marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the slaughter in 1915, and Obama is taking time to remember “this solemn day.”

A White House statement issued while Obama spends the weekend in Asheville, N.C., calls the killings “a devastating chapter” in Armenian history.

Obama says it’s important to keep alive the memory of what happened “so that we do not repeat the grave mistakes of the past.”

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, and says the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.AP

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