Hostage Standoff at a Police Station in Yerevan, Armenia
Several armed men have stormed the building of the Erebuni Police Station early morning July 17th. One policeman was killed. The group that calls itself Sasna Tsrer has taken several hostages, including the Deputy Chief of Armenian Police and Deputy Chief of Yerevan Police. After releasing two hostages on July 18th, the group is presently keeping four people as hostage.
The group is mainly demanding the release of jailed opposition figure Zhirayr Sefilyan and the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan, and is calling on all people to come out to the streets and support them. Police have been negotiating with the group since the morning of July 17th. They have closed down the street where the police department is situated. Some of the people approaching the blocked street have been detained and released within several hours.
The situation continued on July 18th, as people gathered at 7:00 PM to support the group that had seized the police station. Around 2,000 people marched through the center of Yerevan. A sit-in was also staged during the march. The organizers of the march urged the people to return to the square at 7:00 PM next day, to continue the protests.