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Police Report Arrests In Yerevan Blast Probe


Armenia -- Gagik Khachatrian, head of the State Revenue Committee.

The Armenian police have made several arrests in connection with a weekend explosion near the Yerevan apartment of Gagik Khachatrian, head of the State Revenue Committee.

The blast was reportedly caused by a homemade explosive device planted in a construction site adjacent to Khachatrian’s apartment block in the city center. In a statement earlier this week the police said they found 400 grams of explosive material and a radio at the scene, suggesting that only the bomb’s detonator was set off by a radio signal.

“Consider the case to have been solved,” Major-General Alik Sargsian, chief of the national police, told RFE/RL on Thursday. “There will soon be a statement, we are working on it now. We are holding people who have a direct connection with the case.”

Sargsian would not say if police investigators regard the blast as a failed attempt on Khachatrian’s life.

Senior tax officials in Armenia have fallen victim to deadly attacks in the past. One of them, Shahen Hovasapian, died in a bomb attack outside his Yerevan home in September 2006. In September 2001, a grenade blast similarly killed Gagik Poghosian, then chief of the Armenian tax collection agency. Nobody is known to have been tried and convicted of organizing and committing those killings.
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