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Protests ongoing in Armenia, police in control of situation

April 21, 18:52 UTC+3 YEREVAN

Local media reported that protesters have been attempting to block the highways connecting Yerevan and Ararat, Yerevan and Aparan along with another road between Gyumri and Artik

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YEREVAN, April 21. /TASS/. Armenia’s opposition carried on with demonstrations and rallies in the capital of Yerevan and other cities on Saturday.

Local media reported that since Saturday morning protesters have been attempting to block the highways connecting Yerevan and Ararat, Yerevan and Aparan along with another road between Gyumri and Artik.

"The police are in control of the situation in the republic. Now all roads and highways are open. Law enforcers respect the right to peaceful rallies, but will cut short any illegal activities," police told TASS.

In Yerevan, supporters of radical opposition have been blocking the streets since the morning. A TASS correspondent saw about 100 activists shutting down traffic in Mashtots Avenue. The protesters were chanting anti-government slogans and thumping the drums. In other districts, some roads are closed, resulting in traffic jams, according to the Armenian media. At least 93 protesters were hauled off by police.

Armenia’s opposition keeps demanding that Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan step down. On April 21, he suggested political dialogue with Nikol Pashinyan, the protesters’ leader and an MP, but Pashinyan refused stating that the talks would be possible "only after the prime minister’s resignation."

On Saturday, dozens of political and public organizations supported Sargsyan and urged to "apply political tools for resolving the crisis in the country."

Mass rallies began in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia on Monday following the nomination of former president Serzh Sargsyan’s candidacy for prime minister. On Tuesday, the parliament voted for Sargsyan as prime minister. Nikol Pashinyan declared a ‘velvet revolution’ and called on his supporters to stage peaceful actions of civil disobedience.

On Thursday, opposition activists tried to break down a meeting of the new cabinet having blocked approaches to government buildings. Apart from that, they organized a 3,000-strong protest rally.

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