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Violent protests erupt in Armenia rejecting the Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Chaotic scenes erupted inside Armenia's parliament in the early hours of Tuesday as protesters angry at the Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal with Azerbaijan seized control of its chamber to denounce the country's leadership as they lynched the parliament speaker, Daily Sabah reported.

Hundreds of people stormed into the building after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian announced the agreement to end six weeks of fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Many gathered inside its inner chamber, taking the seats of parliamentarians and shouting "resign!" or "out!"

Arguments and scuffles broke out as protesters tried to take to the podium to speak and were shouted down, with some throwing bottles.

Thousands of protesters had earlier gathered outside the government headquarters in Yerevan and stormed the building, ransacking offices and breaking windows.

Local media reports said parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan had been attacked and beaten.

Pashinyan's official residence was attacked and protesters ripped his nameplate off his office door as others chanted: "Nikol has betrayed us."

Police officers looked on as demonstrators - including some army veterans wearing military fatigues - filled the ornate, wood-panelled offices, shouting and delivering furious speeches, according to the Guardian.

Pashinian called on protesters to go home, writing on Facebook: "At this difficult time we must stand shoulder to shoulder."

Armenian opposition parties have called for the government to revoke the agreement. And the country's president, Armen Sarkissian, distanced himself from the deal, saying he had learned about the negotiations from the media and calling for "political consultations" to find a path out of the crisis, according to the Guardian.

Putin hopes lasting peace between Azerbaijan, Armenia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he hopes for a lasting peace for both Azerbaijani and Armenian people.

"I hope these last steps we have taken will ensure long-term peace for the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia," Putin said, speaking at a virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Describing the events in Nagorno-Karabakh as "tragedy", Putin said: "I would like to express with great pleasure that we have reached agreements to stop the bloodshed."

The peace agreement confirmed the influence of Russia and Turkey in the region, while sidelining western powers, the Guardian said.

Erdogan, Putin discuss Nagorno-Karabakh

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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