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Gunmen Release Four Remaining Police Hostages in Yerevan

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL's Armenian Service

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 authorities.

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 on July 23.

The gunmen are linked to the radical opposition movement Founding Parliament.

Varuzhan Avetisian, a spokesman for Founding Parliament, told RFE/RL that the gunmen have no intention of laying down their weapons until their demands are met.

The gunmen’s demands include the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of Zhirayr Sefilian, the leader of Founding Parliament.
Avetisian added that the gunmen, who seized the Erebuni police station on July 17, were prepared for a possible raid by Armenian security forces.

Sarkisian on July 22 urged the gunmen to release all the hostages and surrender.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL's Armenian Service

Gunmen Release Four Remaining Police Hostages in Yerevan

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