The Armenian police said on Saturday that one of their officers has been shot dead in a continuing standoff with opposition gunmen holed up in a police compound in Yerevan.
Ashot Aharonian, the police spokesman, said the 30-year-old officer, Yuri Tepanosian, was killed by sniper fire as he sat in a police car parked “350-400 meters” from the compound.
A separate police statement said that Tepanosian served in interior troops that are part of the national police service. The warrant officer had three children.
Aharonian reported the shooting about two hours after the expiry of an ultimatum issued to the gunmen by Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS).
The NSS gave the armed group affiliated with a fringe opposition group until 5 p.m. to lay down its arms and surrender to security forces or face a large-scale assault.
An RFE/RL correspondent heard several gunshots on a blocked street leading to the seized compound at around 6 p.m.
The gunmen already killed one police officer, Colonel Artur Vanoyan, and wounded four others when they seized on July 17 the headquarters of a police unit tasked with crowd control and street patrols. They demanded that President Serzh Sarkisian free the jailed leader of their group and step down.