: Two Yerevan police hostages released

11:36 Jul. 23, 2016

Two Yerevan police hostages released

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

Gunmen demand release of opposition leader jailed for arms trafficking

Members of the armed group, that seized a police headquarters in Yerevan on July 17, have released two of their hostages. 

The gunmen explained that the hostages were set free after the Armenian authorities gave their consent to establish a news bureau on the territory of the seized police station.

They promise to release two more remaining hostages - Armenia's deputy police chief General Major Vardan Eghiazaryan and Yerevan deputy police chief Colonel Valeri Osipyan - as soon as the press centre starts its work.

Read also Clashes in Yerevan: dozens detained or wounded

The standoff started when a group of armed men demanding the release of jailed opposition figure, stormed the police headquarters and took everyone inside hostages. One police officer was killed, and several more wounded. Since then, the gunmen released several people.

About 3,000 supporters of the gunmen gathered near the police station late July 22. Nikol Panishian, a leading opposition politician, urged the crowd to be peaceful but persistent in calling for President Serzh Sarkisian's resignation and new elections.

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Protesters shout as they gather a police cordon near a police station in Yerevan, Armenia, Saturday, July 23, 2016 (AP photo)

The demonstrators promise to hold meetings near the police station every night.

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