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Protests spill over into all major Armenian cities

April 23, 15:07 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The opposition claims it has blocked a highway between Yerevan and Sevan and a number of other roads

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© Karo Sahakyan/PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, April 23. /TASS/. The opposition took to the streets in all major cities of Armenia on Monday.

According to local media reports, the protesters are blocking highways, declaring strikes and chanting anti-government slogans.

"Mass protests are held at this moment in Gyumri, our supporters are now on Vartanants Square. Thousands of citizens have gathered there," one of the protest organizers Aik Barsegyan wrote on Facebook.

The opposition claims it has blocked a highway between Yerevan and Sevan and a number of other roads.

Local media reports said some 3,000 employees of a clothing factory went on strike in Vanadzor, the third-largest city in Armenia, in the country’s north. Many residents of the city joined them.

Police said they control the situation in the republic.

On Monday, opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was released from a pre-trial detention center.

Thousands of demonstrators have been holding rallies in Yerevan since Monday morning demanding his release.

Mass rallies kicked off in Yerevan and other Armenian cities on April 16. The opposition demands that Serzh Sargsyan, who was elected as the prime minister by the parliament after 10 years of presidency, should step down.

On April 22, Sargsyan walked out of talks with opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan. The protests intensified on the same day when Pashinyan and two other MPs, Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasun Mikayelyan, were detained over organizing the illegal rallies. The situation in the country remains very tense.

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