Armenian Gunmen Surrender, Ending a 2 Week Standoff


VOA News

A group of twenty gunmen inside a police station in the Armenian capital of Yerevan have surrendered to authorities, ending a tense, two-week standoff that left two police officers dead and several people wounded.

The gunmen, members of a radical opposition group, surrendered one day after police said they would storm the building.

The standoff sparked huge protests that led to unrest in the city. Several thousand people joined nightly protests in support of the gunmen.

The leader of the anti-government group, Varuzhan Avetisyan, told local Armenian media they decided to end the standoff after police entered the compound with armed vehicles.

Another reason, Avetisyan said, was that police began shooting some of his gunmen who went outside the police station. Most were shot in the leg, but one sustained a bullet wound to the chest.

The armed men seized the compound on July 17 in an attempt to secure the freedom of another leader, who was arrested in June.