Three More ‘Sasna Tsrer’ Gunmen Wounded

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenian law enforcement authorities shot and wounded three more gunmen who have occupied a Yerevan police station since July 17. RFE/RL’s Armenian service reported that “Sasna Tsrer” group members Artur Melkinian, Armen Lambarian, and Arayik Kandoyan were wounded during a gunfight with authorities on July 29.

Opposition gunmen continue to occupy a police compound in Yerevan (Photo: Photolure)
Opposition gunmen continue to occupy a police compound in Yerevan (Photo: Photolure)

Ashot Aharonian, the spokesperson of the Armenian police services, said that authorities had returned fire after members of the armed group shot at officers. Aharonian also said that the three wounded gunmen are currently receiving medical assistance at a hospital.

Varuzhan Avetisian, one of the leaders of the armed group, blamed authorities and Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) for Khandoyan’s shooting while speaking to before the two other gunmen were wounded.

“We contacted an NSS representative and he said, ‘You are shooting and that is why we are returning fire,’”Avetisian told Avetisian also said that the gunmen had not shot at authorities, but were rather “shooting at an [unmanned aerial] device,” to make sure that it did not “drop bombs” and harm the group.

Two days earlier, on July 27, Aharonian, said that four medics were taken hostage after being sent to the police station to provide medical aid to two of the gunmen. The “Sasna Tsrer” group has since claimed that the ambulance crew are not hostages, but have admitted that they are being held in the seized compound against their will.

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