Armenia arrests 200 following hostage situation at Yerevan police station

Published July 18th, 2016 - 08:30 GMT
Armenian police detain an opposition supporter, artist Nikol Aghababyan, next to a police check point blocking the streets to Erebuni police station in Yerevan on July 17, 2016. (AFP/Karen Minasyan)
Armenian police detain an opposition supporter, artist Nikol Aghababyan, next to a police check point blocking the streets to Erebuni police station in Yerevan on July 17, 2016. (AFP/Karen Minasyan)

Armenian authorities have arrested nearly 200 people in the capital Yerevan after a group of armed men raided a police headquarters and took several hostages.

Armed men from the opposition group stormed the police headquarters in Yerevan's Erebuni district at dawn on Sunday and began exchanging gunfire with the police.

A police officer was killed and two other were wounded as the gunmen held a number of hostages “under the threat of violence,” according to Armenia's National Security Service.

Local media said police were investigating the detainees’ possible link with the armed men and the opposition group.

The armed group is reportedly holding seven policemen hostage, including Armenia's deputy police chief General Major Vardan Egiazaryan and Yerevan deputy police chief Colonel Valeri Osipyan.

The gunmen said they were demanding the resignation of President Serg Sargisian and release of opposition leader Zhirair Sefilyan.

Sefilyan was arrested last month over alleged possession of firearms. The opposition leader has been accused in the past of plotting a violent overthrow of the government.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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