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YEREVAN, July 21. /TASS/. The Armenian authorities have not yet stated their position on recent clashes between the police and opposition protesters in Yerevan, although almost 12 hours have passed since. No statements have been made yet by the president, government and other public authorities. There is no police version of the events.
The Armenian government is gathering for a regular meeting on Thursday that will focus on Wednesday’s dramatic events, the government staff sources told TASS.
On Wednesday evening, clashes between demonstrators and the police occurred. The opposition activists were throwing stones at the law enforcers, and policemen used smoke and stun grenades, tear gas against the protesters.
According to preliminary information of the Armenian Health Ministry, 51 people, including 28 policemen were injured in the clashes. They were proved medical assistance in various health centers and hospitals of Yerevan. At dawn, the police dispersed the opposition rally, detaining several dozen people.
The situation in Yerevan is calm now. Movses Khorenatsi Street, where the clashes took place, has been cleaned up and washed by street cleansing machines.
A group of about 30 armed supporters of the radical opposition broke into the territory of a police regiment in Yerevan, Armenia, in the small hours on July 17 having rammed its gates in a truck. In the ensuing shootout, deputy commander of the squad Colonel Artur Vanoyan was killed, while some of the attackers and some policemen suffering injuries.
In the chaos that followed, the assailants managed to abduct police officers and law enforcement officials who arrived at the scene for negotiations. Among those taken hostage are two senior police officials, Major General Vartan Yegiazaryan, Armenia’s deputy police chief, and Colonel Valery Osipyan, Yerevan’s deputy police chief. Several hostages have been reportedly released.
For several days, the opposition activists have been rallying near the police regiment quarters, demanding from the authorities not to undertake a military operation to free the hostages and neutralize the armed group.