July 30, 2016 - 00:56 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Preliminary data suggest at least 29 people were injured in the jostle between protesters and the police as the former were rallying in support of the armed group that seized a police HQ in Yerevan on Friday, July 29.
The group are members of the Sasna Tsrer (Daredevils of Sassoun) movement. One police officer was killed, and several more were wounded in a shootout that broke as the members of the group hit the gates of the police department with a track. All the captives have been set free. The group demand the release of Jirair Sefilian, the founder of the Founding Parliament who was arrested on June 20, as he and a group of people had allegedly planned to seize premises and communication facilities, including the Yerevan TV tower. They also demand the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan and the creation of a transitional government. Also, they want the authorities to halt Karabakh negotiations fearing they are going to cede some lands around the former Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast to Azerbaijan.
On July 27, the gunmen took 4 paramedics hostage, and released only one of them the next day.
The injured were admitted to various medical centers across Armenia's capital, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Supporters of the gunmen rallied on Friday evening near the seized police HQ. After urging the demonstrators to leave the area, the riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the public.
According to reports, civilians and journalists were beaten by police officers wearing civilian cloths.
Armenian police spokesman Ashot Aharonyan in the wee hours of Saturday refuted media reports that an operation in the territory of a police headquarters is underway in Yerevan.
"The reality is that a group of people attempted to violate the security zone protected by the police and reach the territory of the patrol regiment."
Also, Aharonyan urged civilians to refrain from illegal and provocative actions.
Read also:Yerevan standoff: Police disperse rally supporting gunmen
Tear gas, stun grenades, violence near seized police HQ in Yerevan