One man killed, four wounded, at least six hostages as armed men seized a police station Yerevan, Armenia on Sunday.
The attack began when an armed group in trucks rammed through the gates of the police headquarters and took control of the building. In video, released by takers on lifenews.ru, includes the list of their demands.
"Dear compatriots. It has started. We ask everyone to take to the streets," one of the men said. "Our demand is to set free all political prisoners ... and for them to be brought here."
Their main demand was to free Jirair Sefilian, an opposition leader. He was accused of plotting civil unrest. Sefilian was jailed in June over allegations of illegally possessing weapons.
Armenia’s vice-police chief told that demand cannot be fulfilled. The negotiations were now underway to try to persuade the hostage takers to lay down their weapons.
“During the ongoing negotiations authorities are trying to convince the terrorists to refrain from any movements that can endanger people’s lives, to free hostages, give up their arms and surrender to the officials,” is reported in the statement published by the Armenian National Security Agency.
They also reported that special units remain on the scene in a state of combat readiness, but the order to attack or take any other action has not been given to them.
The local police chief, Valery Osipyan, is among the hostages, authorities confirmed to Armenian news agency Arminfo. For now two hostages have been freed by Special Forces.
Several Armenian political commentators said the men appeared to sympathize with the Founding Parliament opposition group, which they said did not enjoy wide support.
The group is particularly critical of the way the government has been handling a long-running conflict in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Some Armenian news outlets reported that the armed men were also demanding that the president quit. This information was not confirmed.
According to one of the members of the group, Jirair Sefilian had no idea what was going on. Their demands haven't changed: they want the release of Sefilian for further negotiations. Asked whether they are going to surrender, they gave a negative response.