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Armenian Authorities Block Roads, Warn Anti-govt Protesters

Armenian Authorities Block Roads, Warn Anti-govt Protesters

Wednesday, 4 May, 2022 - 17:15
Protesters block a street during an anti-government demonstration in Yerevan, Armenia May 3, 2022. (Photolure via Reuters)

Authorities blocked streets in Armenia's capital Wednesday and warned anti-government protesters against trying to seize the country’s parliament building as they demonstrated to demand the prime minister's resignation.

Police used cement mixers and trucks to close off roads and bridges leading to the center of Yerevan as demonstrators chanted, "Armenia without Nikol," referring to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

The protesters, meanwhile, used cars to block the area around pedestrian underground passageways at major intersections. They marched in at least 10 directions.

"We can speak with the authorities about only one thing - their immediate departure," Ishkhan Saghatelyan, vice president of the country's parliament, the National Assembly of Armenia. He also is chair of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation's Supreme Council.

Police arrested some of the protesters, and security officials warned them against trying to storm the parliament building. Pashinyan was scheduled to speak to parliament on Wednesday.

Anti-government demonstrations have taken place almost daily since April 17. The prime minister became a renewed target of rancor after he spoke in parliament about the need to sign a peace agreement with neighboring Azerbaijan.

The two countries have clashed for decades over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under Armenian control since early 1990s. During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed control over some of the region before signing a Russia-brokered truce with Armenia.

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