News from Armenia: Yerevan hostage standoff is over

15:58 Jul. 23, 2016

Yerevan hostage standoff is over

Armenian police and special forces secure the area around a police station in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, July 17, 2016 (AP photo)

Gunmen release all the hostages

All four police officers held by gunmen in a police station in Armenia's capital Yerevan were released on July 23 after a week-long hostage standoff with the authorities, RFE/RL reports.

Senior military officer Vitaly Balasanyan, who was acting as a negotiator, said the two remaining police officers were released by the gunmen in exchange for an opportunity to talk to the press. Two police officers had been released earlier today.

The police station was seized on July 17 by gunmen demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of Zhirayr Sefilian, the leader of the radical opposition movement Founding Parliament.

Sefilian was arrested on June 20 and charged with illegal acquisition and possession of weapons.

One policeman was killed in the July 17 assault.

About 3,000 supporters of the gunmen gathered near the police station late on July 22, promising to continue demonstrations until the president resigns.

 

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