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Gunmen storm police station and take officers hostage in Armenia's capital

At least one person is dead after several armed men stormed a police station in Yerevan and demanded the release of a jailed opposition figure.
Aram Kirakosyan/PAN Photo/AP

Several armed men stormed a police station in Armenia's capital Yerevan on Sunday and took multiple officers hostage, demanding the release of a jailed opposition figure in the country.

Local reports said at least one person had been killed and two injured, and that two top police officials, Armenia's deputy police chief Vardan Egiazaryan and Yerevan deputy police chief Valeri Osipyan, were among those being held hostage. Two hostages have reportedly been freed, and news agencies in the country cited police sources as saying seven or eight remained.

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Armenia's National Security Service released a statement that said negotiations were underway for peaceful surrender.

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The gunmen have reportedly called for the release of Jirair Sefilyan, a Lebanese-born military commander and opposition leader who was detained on June 20 after Armenian authorities said he was plotting a coup against the government.

Video from the scene shows the area ringed with white armored vehicles.

Another video clip posted on Facebook appeared to show the hostage takers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and wearing bulletproof vests, listing 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."

"We have captured all the weapons," another said. "There is no other way. We appeal to you. Don't leave us here alone. We are doing our bit — you do your bit."

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Reuters contributed to this report.