Yerevan hostage stand-off: Tensions erupt into violence as crowd clashes with police (video)

2016-07-21 09:54:10

The stand-off outside the petrol police regiment in Yerevan’s Erebuni district escalated into violent clashes after a crowd of opposition supporters attempted to break through the police lines by throwing stones at the security forcers.

Speaking to reporters at the protest site, a police representative said that they had many injured police officers. Ordinary citizens were also affected in the attack.

The group of radical oppositionists, representing the Founding Parliament movement, burst into the headquarters on Sunday morning, holding several policemen hostage. Five police officers were later set free after negotiations. Four high-ranking policemen, including Deputy Chief of Yerevan Police, Colonel Valery Osipyan, and Deputy Chief of Armenian Police, Lieutenant-General Vardan Yeghiazaryan, are still being kept hostage under the threat of violence. The group demands the release of Zhirayr Sefilyan, a veteran of the Nagorno-Karabakh war and the Founding Parliament’s leader, who was detained in June over the illegal possession and transportation of weapons.

In the early hours of Thursday, scores of protesters were taken to police.

The police had earlier declared the public gathering illegal, but after meeting disobedience by the crowd they had to take abrupt measures.

One police colonel, Artur Vanoyan, was fatally wounded in the Sunday clashes.





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