Yerevan Police Station Seized by Radical Opposition Group

YEREVAN  – Several armed members of a radical Armenian opposition group known as Himnadir Khorhrdaran (the Founding Parliament Party) have stormed a police satiation in the Armenian capital Yerevan's Erebuni district, killing and wounding an number of people in the process.

At least one policeman and two others were wounded as the gunmen seized the station and took dozens of others hostage, including Yerevan’s Deputy Police Chief Valery Osipyan.

Police snipers have been positioned in the buildings immediately surrounding the station and unconfirmed reports indicate that one of the gunmen was wounded in the attack.

The radical party first announced their plan to overthrow Sargsyan’s government in 2015. During a recent constitutional referendum , the group unsuccessfully attempted to organize mass anti-government rallies in central Yerevan.

The leader of the group Varujan Avetisyan (a veteran of the 1988-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War), said they demand the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan and the release of political prisoner and prominent opposition activist Jirayr Sefilyan – another Karabakh War veteran, who was arrested in late June after being accused of planning an armed coup.

The group released a video via Facebook calling for the people to support their action and fill the streets.

Yerevan police officers have cordoned off all of the streets leading to the Erebuni district and deployed a small number of armored vehicles to the area.

Police officials on the scene have been seen hindering the efforts of journalists to report on the situation and none of Armenia’s local TV stations have reported on the news.

By Karen Tovmasyan and Nicholas Waller

17 July 2016 14:28