YEREVAN, July 31. /TASS/. The armed group that has been holding a seized police precinct in the Armenian capital city Yerevan for two weeks is surrendering, Varuzhan Avetisyan, a member of the group, said on Sunday.
Avetisyan’s statement was broadcast by several opposition internet resources. The Armenian police have confirmed these reports.
"We are cutting short our resistance. We are changing the methods of struggle which we will continue in a status of prisoners," he said, adding that "it was a very difficult decision." Avetisyan called on his supporters to "take this decision as a positive step" and "continue struggle following our calls from prison."
"We have accomplished out mission to stir a popular riot," he said. "It would be good is processes were quicker, mobilization more intense and we could get united and reach our common victory."
The anti-terrorist operation is over, a spokesman for Armenia’s National Security Service said on Sunday.
"The anti-terrorist operation conducted in Yerevan on July 30 and 31 is over," the spokesman said. "Armenian law enforcers have forced the members of the armed group to lay down arms and surrender to the authorities."
"Twenty terrorists were detained, the territory of the police precinct freed from terrorists," the spokesman said.
During the small hours of July 17, armed extremists 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. Radicals demanded the release of opposition leader Zhirair Sefilyan and the resignation of the country’s president and government.
Following the seizure, 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. Until today, the police have been trying to end the standoff through dialogue and negotiations with the rally’s organizers who support the armed assailants.