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YEREVAN, July 18. /TASS/. Armed terrorists in Yerevan are refusing to release hostages, lay down their arms and surrender to the authorities, Armenia’s National Security Service said in a statement on Monday.
"Overnight to July 18, as a result of lengthy negotiations and the implementation of special measures, the security services managed to set free one policeman, and also the driver of an ambulance who were held captive in the patrol and inspection police regiment under the threat of the use of weapons," the statement said.
"Nevertheless, the armed group is refusing to release other persons, being held forcibly, including high-placed police officials, lay down arms and surrender to the authorities," Armenia’s National Security Service said.
"The life and health of the persons unlawfully deprived of freedom as a result of the attack made on the patrol and inspection police regiment are still threatened," the statement said.
"The terrorists who have already committed several crimes and who possess a large amount of weapons pose an obvious and immediate threat both to the hostages and society," the National Security Service said.
"The Armenian law-enforcement agencies are taking all possible and available measures to resolve the situation peacefully. In the current situation, however, this may not be sufficient," Armenia’s National Security Service said.
Armenia’s security service once again called on "members of the armed group to refrain from criminal acts that may lead to new victims and other grave consequences and stop armed resistance."
"There is still time and possibilities for that so far," Armenia’s National Security Service said.
About 30 radical opposition supporters riding a Kraz truck rammed into the gates of the Armenian patrol and inspection police regiment in Yerevan at about 05:00 a.m. local time (02:00 GMT) on Sunday and burst into the regiment’s territory. As a result of the shootout, the regiment’s deputy commander was killed and there are persons wounded from both sides.
The armed persons took hostage both the patrol and inspection police personnel and police officials who had arrived at the scene for negotiations, in particular, Armenian Deputy Police Chief Major-General Vartan Yegiazaryan and Deputy Head of the Yerevan Police Department Colonel Valery Osipyan who had approached the assailants for talks.