Armed Opposition Group Frees All Hostages from Occupied Yerevan Police Station
YEREVAN (A.W.)—The armed opposition group calling themselves “Sasna Tsrer,” who have occupied a Yerevan police station since July 17, released all four police officers they were holding hostage, after extensive negotiations with the Armenian government. The negotiations were done through a mediator, Vitaly Balasanian.
Balasanian, a retired Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh/NKR) army gerenal, announced the imminent release of the hostages while speaking to Armenia’s Shant television station, reported RFE/RL’s Armenian service, Azatutyun.am. First, 2 rank-and file policemen were set free, shortly following the release of high-ranking officers Vartan Yeghiazarian and Valeri Osipinian in the following hours, according to the report.
During the negotiations, it was agreed that in return for the hostages’ release, Armenian law enforcement officers and authorities would permit the armed group’s leaders to speak to journalists in a neutral zone around the occupied police station. Nearly 40 reporters were transported to the area late Saturday afternoon, though none of them were allowed to hold a live broadcast the gunmen’s news conference.
It is not yet clear whether the authorities discussed the hostage-takers’ initial demands—the release of Jirair Sefilyan form prison and the resignation of President Serge Sarkisian.
Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Armed Opposition Group Frees All Hostages from Occupied Yerevan Police Station