By Ruben Meloyan
The death toll in Armenia’s bloody post-election violence has reached ten after a policeman and a civilian died of wounds and injuries they sustained in the March 1 clashes.
Both Tigran Abgarian, 19, a policeman, and Samvel Harutiunian, 29, a resident of Armenia’s southern province of Ararat, were reportedly hospitalized on the night of fierce fighting between opposition protesters and security forces in central streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan. Both were pronounced dead at different hospitals within a space of half an hour six weeks later.
According to doctors and official police sources, Abgarian was brought to hospital with a gunshot wound to his neck and remained unconscious in intensive care until his death last Friday.
“Doctors have been in struggle to save his life. But unfortunately we could not help him,” Mikaelian Hospital Deputy Director Onik Melkonian told RFE/RL.
The family and friends of Samvel Harutiunian laid him to rest in the town of Khor Virap, about 50 kilometers to the south of Yerevan, on Monday.
Harutiunian had sustained a heavy injury in the head on March 1 and remained unconscious in hospital until March 20, his father Ruben Harutiunian told RFE/RL, adding that his son was last seen on March 1 evening near the French Embassy in Yerevan. He also said that after his son regained consciousness he underwent several surgeries.
According to Ruben Harutiunian, he was not informed that his son was in a grave condition at the Armenia Medical Center until March 4. He says that before that he thought his son was among arrested people.
“I and my sister-in-law could not recognize him when we saw him there,” Ruben Harutiunian says.
Officially, Samvel Harutiunian’s death was caused by serious complications resulting from a heavy blow on the head.
Harutiunian survived his 20-year-old wife and six-month-old baby daughter.
At least eight people, including one policeman, immediately died in the March 1 clashes when security forces used deadly force against opposition demonstrators. The clashes also left 265 people injured, including 210 policemen.
The Health Ministry spokesperson told RFE/RL that three out of 133 wounded or injured in the March 1 events treated within the Ministry’s system remained in hospital as of Monday, the condition of one of them is reported to be critical.