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Armed group in Yerevan takes doctors hostage

July 27, 2016, 11:31 UTC+3

The law enforcers are currently taking measures to release the doctors

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© Varo Rafayelyan/PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, July 27. /TASS/. The armed group in Yerevan that last week seized the local police patrol and inspection regiment building has taken hostage an ambulance crew that arrived to render medical aid to the injured group members on Wednesday, Armenian Police spokesman Ashot Aharonian told TASS.

After an overnight shootout in the territory of the police patrol and inspection service regiment that was seized by the armed group, there were two wounded, the police spokesman said. "The law enforcers offered to provide them medical assistance, but they refused," he added. "Later, the members of the armed group demanded a doctor on arrival and ambulance doctors took hostage," Aharonian said.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Health Ministry told TASS that "two doctors, a nurse and a paramedic have been taken hostage" by the armed group members.

Currently, the "law enforcers are taking measures to release the medics through negotiations", the police spokesman said.

During the small hours of July 17, a group of armed extremists comprising 31 members, riding on a truck, rammed through the gates of a Yerevan police precinct, subsequently storming the premises. In the ensuing shootout, deputy commander of the regiment Colonel Artur Vanoyan was killed, while some of the assailants and some policemen sustained 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 kidnapped were two senior police officials, Major General Vartan Yegiazaryan, Armenia’s deputy police chief, and Colonel Valery Osipyan, Yerevan’s deputy police chief. They were released only on Saturday.

For several days, radical opposition members have been rallying near the police station, demanding that the authorities refrain from carrying out a military operation to free the hostages and neutralize the armed group.

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