ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
*  WORLD
   africa
   americas
   asia pacific
   europe
   middle east
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
 HEALTH
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

World - Europe

Armenia's prime minister killed in parliament shooting

Parliament
Armenian TV showed images of gunmen shootout in the parliament  

Other government officials shot; many hostages held

October 27, 1999
Web posted at: 5:15 p.m. EDT (2115 GMT)


In this story:

'Individual terrorists' blamed

Sargsyan appointed premier last June

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



YEREVAN, Armenia (CNN) -- Attackers spraying automatic gunfire swept into Armenia's parliament on Wednesday, killing Armenian Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan and several other parliamentary leaders.

At least five people, including the parliament speaker Karen Demirchian, deputy parliamentary speaker Yuri Bakhshyan and Operative Issues Minister Leonard Petrosyan, were killed in the stunning raid. A number of others were wounded. Sargsyan was said to have been shot several times in the chest.

  ALSO
 
  RESOURCES
Recent Armenian history

Ancient Armenian history

 
 VIDEO
CNN International coverage shows the shooting in Armenia (October 27)
Windows Media 28K 80K

2.1 MB / 17 sec. / 240x180
QuickTime movie
Please enable Javascript
 
  AUDIO

Armenian journalist Hagop Aveikian reports about the current situation.

316 K/30 sec.
AIFF or WAV sound
 
  MESSAGE BOARD
Attack in Armenia

 
 Armenia:
Area:
Slightly smaller than Maryland at 29,800 sq. km. Landlocked, bordering Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Turkey

Natural resources:
Small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, and alumina

Population:
3,409,234, 93% ethnic Armenian

Independence:
May 28, 1918-December 2, 1920 (First Armenian Republic); September 23, 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Source: CIA World Factbook

Vage Gabrielian, a spokesman for Armenian President Robert Kocharian, said the president had gone to the parliament building where the gunmen were holding as many as 150 hostages.

'Individual terrorists' blamed

A reporter inside the building said the gunmen were claiming to have staged a coup, but Gabrielian said the government believed the gunmen were "individual terrorists" and asserted the government was in "complete control" of the country.

He said the gunmen had not claimed affiliation with any group.

"It's only the parliament building and a very small group," he said.

Pictures from the parliament session showed three men with guns opening fire.

Witnesses said the prime minister was apparently the target of the attack.

Hagop Aveikian of the AZG newspaper said a reporter for his newspaper saw the men enter, curse the prime minister and the parliament, and then open fire.

The reporter said that Sargsyan was hit several times.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott had met earlier in the day with the prime minister and other Armenian leaders to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh. He had been escorted to the airport by Sargsyan about a half hour before the incident at the parliament building.

Sargsyan appointed premier last June

Armenia became an independent republic following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and has endured years of political turmoil.

Sargsyan is number two in the country's government. The 40-year-old former athletic instructor and Soviet propaganda official was appointed premier by Kocharian last June.

Sargsyan is an ally of Armenia's Soviet-era leader Demirchian, with whom he co-chairs the hard-line Unity party.

police
Security forces surround the parliament  

Sargsyan's political movement forced the resignation of President Levon Ter-Petrosian in February 1998. It accused him of pursuing "defeatist" policies on the issue of independence for the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh by agreeing even to discuss returning territory to Azerbaijan.

Sargsyan previously headed a nationalist group representing war veterans who fought in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a major war over the enclave.

The premier's party was closely tied to a militia group known as the Yerkrapah Battalion, which Western human rights groups have accused of harassing religious organizations, especially those that discourage military service.




RELATED STORIES:
Strong turnout as Armenians choose president
March 16, 1998
Armenians vote for president Monday
March 15, 1998

RELATED SITES:
Parliament of Armenia (Armenian)
Armenia Online
Window to Armenia
Library of Congress: Armenia
Armenia Info & Links
Armenia Resource Page
CIA World Factbook: Armenia
Republic of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Resource Page
ITAR-TASS Home Page


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.