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Police, protesters clash outside govt buildings in Yerevan: TV

Thousands gather for protest at govt building in Armenian capital: AFP
Source: Video Screenshot

Protesters in Armenia’s capital Yerevan clashed Tuesday with law enforcement, images on local television showed, after opposition demonstrators gathered to call for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign.

Images showed that some protesters were trying to break through a police cordon into a government office and were throwing bottles at police and the windows.

Glass in the building’s entrance doors was smashed and police used stun grenades, according to images shown on the Armenian branch of the US media group RFE/RL.

Pashinyan denounced calls for a “coup” against him as protesters gathered following Azerbaijan’s launch of a military operation in Armenian-populated Karabakh.

Hundreds of people gathered in Yerevan’s Republic Square, outside Pashinyan’s offices, to denounce his handling of the Karabakh crisis, according to an AFP journalist on the scene, with demonstrators shouting “Nikol traitor!” and “Nikol resign!”

Pashinyan, who has faced protests in Armenia since Yerevan lost a 2020 war with Azerbaijan, earlier warned against calls for a coup.

Armenia’s opposition has accused Pashinyan of being weak on Karabakh, a breakaway region populated mainly by ethnic Armenians over which Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a dispute over for decades.

“It’s impossible to have a leader who is losing our territories,” one protester, Gevorg Gevorgyan, a military veteran, told AFP.

“We want to show that the Armenian people will not abandon people in Artsakh,” he said, using the Armenian name for Karabakh.

Another protester, Avetik Chalabyan, also voiced frustration with how authorities have handled the standoff with Azerbaijan.

“(Pashinyan) has been promising peace for three years but here we are — a third war has begun,” he said.

“If the government fails to protect 120,000 of its compatriots, then they are traitors and they must resign,” he said, estimating the population of the breakaway region.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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