YEREVAN—The two week standoff at a police compound in Erebuni, which was seized by an opposition group calling itself the “Daredevils of Sasoun” ended on Sunday as the remaining members surrendered, Armenia’s National Security Service reported.
“With their consistent and coordinated actions, special units of Armenian law-enforcement bodies have forced members of the armed group to surrender to the authorities,” the NSS said in statement, adding, “Twenty terrorists have been arrested.”
The “Daredevils” leader Varoujan Avetisyan told a local news website that the decision to surrender because security forces have been methodically shooting and wounding members of his group, which is affiliated with the opposition “Founding Parliament” movement.
“We have shrunk substantially, there are approximately 20 of us remaining [barricaded inside the compound,]” Avetisyan said.
In these circumstances, Avetisyan went on, the group chose to avoid further bloodshed and become “prisoners of war” instead. He sought to put a brave face on the surrender, saying that he and his comrades have succeeded in dramatically increasing anti-government sentiment in Armenia, reported Azatutyun.am.
On July 17, some 30 members of “Daredevils of Sasoun” seized the police compound and demanded the release of opposition activist Jirair Sefilian and the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian. During the two-week standoff, two police officers were killed and several others wounded. At the same time, during sporadic shootouts during the two-weeks, several “Daredevils” members were wounded and taken to the hospital.