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Armenia Marks 11th Anniversary Of Bloody Postelection Protest Crackdown

Eight protesters and two police officers were killed in the unrest in 2008. (file photo)

Armenia is marking the 11th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protesters who were then challenging the official result of the country’s presidential election that year.

Eight protesters and two police officers were killed in the unrest after Serzh Sarkisian, a close ally of then outgoing President Robert Kocharian, was announced the winner back in 2008.

In an address to parliament on March 1, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian stressed that the government at the time used deadly force against peaceful protesters.

Pashinian then read out the names of all 10 victims, noting that five of them died of gunshot wounds.

On the evening of March 1, Pashinian is scheduled to lead a rally and a march through the central streets of Yerevan to commemorate the victims.

Pashinian became prime minister last year following peaceful protests that he spearheaded, ousting Sarkisian and severely weakening the establishment that had been in place in the South Caucasus nation since Kocharian’s rule.

Kocharian is currently under arrest. He was charged with illegally ordering security forces to use force against opposition supporters in 2008. He denies any wrongdoing.