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Sarkisian In Emergency Meeting On Yerevan Hostage Crisis


Armenia - Police forces are seen near a police station in Yerevan seized by anti-government gunmen, 17Jul2016.

Armenia - Police forces are seen near a police station in Yerevan seized by anti-government gunmen, 17Jul2016.

President Serzh Sarkisian held an emergency meeting with Armenia’s top law-enforcement officials on Sunday hours after an unprecedented armed attack in Yerevan launched by members of a hardline group seeking to oust him.

A short statement by the presidential press office said they discussed details of the seizure of a police building and efforts by Armenian security services to retake it and free several police officers held hostage by the militants affiliated with the group called Founding Parliament.

“It was emphasized that law-enforcement bodies fully control the situation and are taking all necessary measures to resolve it,” said the statement.

No other details were reported. Sarkisian did not make public statements during or after the meeting.

The Armenian president travelled to Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday and was apparently there when the gunmen stormed the police building in Yerevan’s southern Erebuni district.

Founding Parliament has repeatedly condemned Sarkisian’s stated readiness to accept a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict. It is strongly opposed to any major Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan.

The group’s top leader, Zhirayr Sefilian, pledged to set up a “resistance committee” against such concessions shortly before he was arrested on June 20 for allegedly plotting an armed revolt against the government.

Sefilian’s release from custody is the main demand of his armed associates who described the attack on the police building as an anti-government “rebellion” and urged Armenians to back it.

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