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Thursday, October 28, 1999 Published at 11:07 GMT

TV statement by Armenian gunmen

Excerpts from gunmen's address carried by Armenia's Snark news agency

"Dear compatriots! Very belatedly we have been given the opportunity to address you and let you know what we are obliged to tell you. Before our eyes in the past few years our wonderful country has fallen to pieces and has turned into a motherland from which everyone dreams only of leaving.

"Our fathers and grandfathers built this country, but we can barely make ends meet. Our children today do not even have shoes or textbooks to go to school with. Our economy has collapsed, social tension has reached an unthinkable height.

"As a result of all these factors our state is in danger. Our action today was not taken with the aim of murdering deputies. We intended to frighten them and urged them to get down.

"Only when bodyguards opened fire on us from two sides were we forced to reply, as a result of which innocent people died. If the bodyguards hadn't fired, we would also have restricted our firing to the air, which would have prevented deaths.

"Everything that we did was only aimed at restoring the rights of our people. We hope for your moral and effective support and demand from the authorities a guarantee of our safety and a fair trial..."

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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