YEREVAN — Police fired stun grenades and made many arrests late on Friday as opposition protesters turned violent as they turned to storm Prime Minister’s official residence.
The violence has left dozens of people injured, majority of them police officers. At least 42 protesters and police officers received medical aid in hospitals, according to the Armenian Ministry of Health.
Security forces used stun grenades as some angry protesters tried to break through the police cordon. Scores of protesters were arrested as a result.
The clashes broke out as thousands of protesters marched through the city center after the country’s main opposition forces failed to push through the Armenian parliament a resolution rejecting any peace accord that would restore Azerbaijan’s control over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Lawmakers representing the ruling Civil Contract party boycotted an emergency parliament session on the resolution and thus prevented the National Assembly from making a quorum. They again accused the opposition of exploiting the Karabakh conflict for political purposes.
Senior police officers at the scene defended the use of force. They said that some protesters threw stones at policemen.
“On June 3, as a result of the calls made by the organizers of the disobedience action at the intersection of Demirchyan and Paronyan streets in Yerevan, the protesters showed illegal behavior.
In particular, they did not obey the lawful demands of the police officers who maintained public order, they used violence against them, just as they threw bottles, stones and metal objects at the police officers.
As a result of what happened, as of 23:00, 34 police officers and 16 civilians were taken to various medical institutions with injuries. 11 people were detained. Initiated a criminal case. A preliminary investigation is underway”. according to a statement issued by Yerevan Police.