YEREVAN (Sputnik) — On Sunday, an armed group took several police officers hostage at a patrol police station in the capital's district of Erebuni. The hostage takers are demanding the release of Jirair Sefilian, an opposition politician and the founder of the New Armenia Public Salvation Front. Sefilian, who took part in the 1988-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan, is accused of the illegal acquisition and possession of arms.
Armenia: Thousands protest in Yerevan as deadly hostage situation rolls on pic.twitter.com/QSroCLnGrd— Press TV (@PressTV) July 18, 2016
Earlier on Monday, the rally participants in the center of Yerevan headed to the Erebuni district but were blocked by the police. The first deputy head of Armenian Police Hunan Poghosyan persuaded the protesters to return to Liberty Square.
Earlier in the day, Pogosyan said that an armed group has been holding five people hostage, after letting one of six hostages go. He added that the armed group refused to lay down their arms and surrender and that negotiations are ongoing.