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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2008, 22:53 GMT
Eyewitness: Violence erupts in Yerevan
Angry clashes have broken out in Armenia's capital between police and opposition supporters protesting against an allegedly rigged election.

Here eyewitnesses describe bloodshed on the streets of Yerevan.


A young female protester was taking part in the demonstration when she said police opened fire on the crowds.

Angry clashes in Yerevan
Some protesters claim tear gas was fired

I was on Freedom Square today. I spent the whole day in the centre of the city and have only just got home.

I wasn't there when the police moved in to beat the demonstrators in the morning but I saw what went on this evening.

The shooting started between nine o'clock [1700 GMT] and nine-thirty this evening when I was standing with the opposition near the French embassy. First the soldiers shot in the air, then they shot at people.

A lot of people were hurt.

The media are showing nothing of what is really going on in the city. They say that people were shooting but nobody had any guns.

We saw a 12-year-old boy killed. He was lying there, not moving. I don't know if he had been shot. That was about eleven o'clock [1900 GMT] this evening.

He was killed, the police took him away, the prosecutors did nothing. I saw him being taken away in an ambulance with my own eyes. But there was nothing on the news about what happened.

Soldiers were beating old people with truncheons. They chased me, my brother and everyone else. I ran across Republic Square and got on the metro to escape from it all.


Lori heard constant gunfire for more than an hour from her home in the centre of Yerevan.

The demonstrations have been going on for some time and I even visited it myself last night.

It was totally peaceful. People were sleeping and sitting round fires.

But this afternoon, I saw 30 buses filled with military personnel going down the streets.

By the evening, they closed off the streets, and I saw the tanks going down our street.

About 30 minutes later I saw a flash from my window and then we heard a boom sound. We heard shooting and saw red tracer bullets firing in our direction.

The shooting was constant and very heavy for more than an hour. It was really frightening.

I was thinking that what goes up must come down and I didn't know where all those tracer bullets being fired into the sky would land.

I have never witnessed anything like that. I have a friend who was at the protest and he says they did fire tear gas.

While the guns were firing I was trembling. It was really frightening.


Alan, who lives in Yerevan, heard a lot of gunfire from his home close to Freedom Square.

I live about 500m away from where the protesters have gathered. They are now marching towards another area of the city.

Earlier we saw over 100 riot police lined up close together in anticipation of violence, presumably.

Later on there was a lot of gunfire.

After the shooting, we heard a lot of shouting and saw people running from the scene.

We could see red tracer bullet fire being shot in two directions.


SEE ALSO
Armenia declares emergency rule
01 Mar 08 |  Europe
Thousands occupy Armenia square
22 Feb 08 |  Europe
Armenia PM wins presidency poll
20 Feb 08 |  Europe



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