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Remaining Gunmen in Armenia Standoff Surrender

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

The remaining opposition gunmen holed up in a police station in Yerevan have laid down their arms, ending a two-week standoff with the Armenian authorities, which has left two police officers dead.

"With their consistent and coordinated actions, special units of Armenian law enforcement bodies have forced members of the armed group to surrender to the authorities," Armenia's National Security Service said in a statement on July 31. "Twenty terrorists have been arrested."

The National Security Service announced the "complete liberation" of the police compound more than an hour after the leader of the gunmen, Varuzhan Avetisian, said they had decided to give themselves up.

He said continued armed resistance would be meaningless, as security forces had been methodically shooting and wounding members of his group linked to a radical opposition movement, Founding Parliament.

Avetisian said his comrades chose to avoid further bloodshed and become "prisoners of war" instead. He sought to put a brave face on the surrender, saying that he and his comrades had succeeded in dramatically increasing antigovernment sentiment in Armenia.

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

Remaining Gunmen in Armenia Standoff Surrender

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