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YEREVAN, June 29. /TASS/. Police tried to remove trash cans on Monday that the participants of mass protests against a hike in electricity tariffs have used to create barricades in downtown Yerevan.
Protesters, who have been rallying for a seventh day already, have hampered the move. This came despite the warning by police who say the containers have to be returned to a local waste disposal company.
Armenia’s capital saw the highest tension on Sunday night over the past week.
After a long discussion, activists decided to leave the central Baghramyan Avenue, where traffic has been blocked for several days. They moved to the Freedom Square in front of the opera theatre to continue the protest there.
This step was considered as treason by some of the protesters who said they would not leave the area as their demands have not been met. As a result, there was a split among the demonstrators.
Yerevan’s deputy police chief Valery Osipyan said "police would use the legal means to restore public order." Armenia’s police head Vladimir Gasparyan promised that "police would act in a harsher way." However, police have made no attempts to disperse the protest so far.
Several provocations by protesters have been registered during the demonstrations. Police claimed that some protesters carry explosives and many people are drunk. A young man who called for armed confrontation was detained late on Sunday, police said.
A group of members of Armenia’s parliament have formed a "human wall" between the protesters and police on the central avenue in an effort to prevent clashes between them.