Policeman killed as Armenian security give gunmen ultimatum

Cheryl Sanders
August 1, 2016

An armed man stands inside the Erebuni police station seized by "Sasna Tsrer" movement members in Yerevan July 23, 2016.

On Wednesday, police said an ambulance crew was held after entering the compound to treat two gunmen wounded in clashes that also left two attackers and a police officer hospitalised.

"As a result, police officer Yura Tepanosyan, born in 1986, who was in a auto at a distance of 350-400 meters [1,150 - 1,300 feet], was killed", Ashot Aharonyan wrote on his Twitter page.

The group stormed a police building in the capital Yerevan on July 17, killing one officer, taking several more hostage and seizing a store of weapons. More than 4,000 protesters gathered in a central square on Friday evening. He was taken to hospital.

Riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to end the protest organized by politicians and public figures allied to Founding Parliament, a radical opposition group with which the gunmen are affiliated.

"Two members of the armed group which seized the police building in Yerevan, Gagik Egiazaryan and Aram Akopyan, have surrendered to police", Aharonian said on Facebook.

The police did not attack journalists or obstruct their work in that area.

Armenia's security services had hours earlier issued an ultimatum to gunmen holding up a police station Saturday, in a bid to resolve the weeks-long hostage crisis after dozens were hurt in overnight clashes.

Meanwhile, Armenian security forces gave police station gunmen until 5 p.m. Saturday to lay down their arms or face a large-scale assault.

Earlier Friday, July 29, police had exchanged fire with the gunmen, wounding two, who were taken to hospital under armed guard.

Of the 75 people who required medical treatment after Friday night's violence, 25 of them remained hospitalized, including six law enforcement officers, the Health Ministry said. The opposition group has sharply criticized the government of the former Soviet republic and called for people to take to the streets to force the president and the prime minister to step down.

Prosecutors on Saturday promised to investigate.

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