Policeman killed as Armenian security give gunmen ultimatum

Policeman killed as Armenian security give gunmen ultimatum

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YEREVAN One policeman was killed on Saturday by armed men seizing a police station in Armenia’s capital Yerevan, after the country’s security service warned the group to lay down arms or law enforcement would open fire.

An unknown number of gunmen seized the police station two weeks ago to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Jirair Sefilian and President Serzh Sarksyan’s resignation. Within a week, the group had released all its hostages..

But on Saturday, after police clashes on Friday night with supporters of the armed men in which several dozen were wounded and many detained, Armenia’s National Security Service said the option to resolve the conflict peacefully had been exhausted.

They gave the group until 1300 GMT to lay down their arms and surrender.

“Otherwise, special units of the law enforcement agencies will be authorized to open fire without warning,” the security service said in a statement.

As of 1530 GMT, there had been no reports of police storming the building or opening fire.

The 30-year-old policeman killed on Saturday was the second law enforcement officer to die since the group seized the building on July 17.

(Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; writing by Lidia Kelly; editing by Dale Hudson)



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