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Armenia Shows More Sympathy for Gunmen Than Their Hostages

A crowd of hundreds of sympathizers gathered on July 25 to demonstrate for the “rights” of the anti-government gunmen that took over the Erebuni police station in Yerevan. (Photo: Anahit Hayrapetyan)

Usually in a hostage crisis, the public sympathizes with the hostages upon their release. But in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, where a group of anti-government gunmen took over a police station last Sunday, more sympathy seems to be with the hostage-takers themselves.
 
“It is unclear why the guys turned to such a measure,” complained 35-year-old radio technician Armen Nersesian about the group’s July 23 agreement to release four policemen in exchange for a press briefing. “It is the most incorrect step they could take. Now [government forces] can invade at any moment and carry out an armed attack.”
 
Members of a fringe opposition movement called Founding Parliament, the fighters are mostly veterans of the 1988-1994 conflict with Azerbaijan over breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh. Some of them hold highly celebrated war records.
 

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Armenia Shows More Sympathy for Gunmen Than Their Hostages

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