Occupiers of Armenian police station take four new hostages

An armed opposition group that took over a police station in Armenia's capital Yerevan 10 days ago took four new hostages on Wednesday.

The assailants took two doctors, a paramedic and a nurse hostage after requesting that the medical team be sent in to the building after a shootout with authorities the previous night, police spokesman Ashot Agaronyan told reporters.

Armenia's Health Ministry has condemned the hostage-taking.

Dozens of gunmen attacked the police station on July 17, taking several hostages including a deputy head of Armenia's police force, Vardan Yeghiazaryan.

Armenian news agency Armenpress and other local media outlets reported that Yeghiazaryan and other hostages were released over the weekend.

The gunmen have demanded the release of Jirair Sefilian, a jailed opposition leader who has campaigned for regime change in Armenia and a tougher stance against territorial foe Azerbaijan.

Sefilian was arrested last month on charges of planning terrorist activities.

Relations between Armenia and neighbouring Azerbaijan remain tense after fighting broke out in April over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The two former Soviet republics have vied for decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, populated primarily by Armenian Christians but recognized by the United Nations as part of predominantly Muslim Azerbaijan.

Last update: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 14:06

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