July 22, 2016 - 14:40 AMT
President Sargsyan meets with heads of law enforcement agencies

President Serzh Sargsyan on Friday, July 22 held a meeting with the heads of the National Security Service, police and prosecution and investigative bodies.

The President was briefed about the situation following an armed police HQ takeover in Yerevan, as well as measures taken to address the issue.

An armed group that seized a police HQ and took everyone inside hostage. They are members of the Sasna Tsrer movement. One police officer was killed, and three more were wounded in a shootout that broke as the members of the group hit the gates of the police department with a Ural track. Several captives have been set free so far. The hostages include Armenia's deputy police chief General Major Vardan Eghiazaryan and Yerevan deputy police chief Colonel Valeri Osipyan. 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 planned to seize premises and communication facilities, including the Yerevan TV tower.

Sargsyan stressed the importance of making every effort to reach a peaceful solution of the problem, as well as “ensuring the inevitability of punishment for the guilty.”

“No problems will ever be solved through the use of force, attacks and hostage standoffs in Armenia,” he said.

“I call on the gunmen who seized the police department and took everyone inside hostage to show restraint. The captives must be freed, and the group must lay down arms.”

Also, the President urged the public to exercise their political and civil rights peacefully and acknowledge the real dangers stemming from extreme steps and provocations.

Also, he urged the heads of the law enforcement agencies to continue implementing their activities in the most restrained way.