Gunmen surrender in Yerevan as two week siege comes to an end
31 July 2016

The armed men who seized a Yerevan police station almost two weeks ago have finally surrendered, according to Interfax news. Twenty of them have been arrested, while all police officers held hostage have been freed.

The armed men were demanding the release of "political prisoners" including Jirair Sefilian, an opposition leader and vocal critic of the Armenian government and President Serzh Sargsyan, particularly policies towards the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"On July 30 and 31 the antiterrorist operation to liberate the area of the Police Patrol Service (SPS) has been concluded. Special units of the relevant law enforcement agencies through their coordinated and consistent actions have forced the armed group to lay down arms and surrendered to authorities. 20 terrorists have been arrested. Patrol area is completely liberated," said the National Security Service in a statement.

A police officer was shot dead while waiting outside the besieged station in a patrol car on Saturday, hours before a deadline which police gave to the armed men to surrender. The siege escalated sharply this weekend, after violent demonstrations on Friday night which left around 60 people wounded and resulted in about 100 arrests.

All of those inside the police station have been detained, according to Interfax.

SOURCE: and agencies

PHOTO: The Erebuni police station (courtesy of AFP)