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Armenia Targets Opposition Group Calling For Protests

YEREVAN -- An Armenian opposition group calling for antigovernment protests on April 24 says police searched its offices and summoned its leaders for questioning.

The police operations on April 7 targeted Constituent Parliament, which is trying to organize mass protests during events marking the 100th anniversary of what Armenia considers genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks.

Without naming any group or individual, Armenia's National Security Service said the authorities have disrupted preparations for "mass disorder" on April 24.

Constituent Parliament activists told RFE/RL's Armenian Service that leaders of the group's branches in the cities of Vanadzor, Kapan, and Gyumri were summoned to police.

They said police searched the group's office in Gyumri and homes of leaders and members in the capital, Yerevan.

The World War I-era mass slaughter and deportation of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks is considered by many historians and several nations as genocide. Turkey objects, saying that Armenians died in much smaller numbers and because of civil strife rather than a planned Ottoman government effort to annihilate the Christian minority.