Armenia: Protesters storm gov’t building amid political crisis

Anti-government demonstrators storm building in Yerevan to demand PM Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.

Protesters have stormed a government building in the Armenian capital amid a deepening political crisis sparked by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s handling of last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The demonstrators forced their way into the building in Yerevan on Monday to demand the resignation of Pashinyan, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Social media footage, which Al Jazeera is attempting to verify, showed a few protesters in the building, one with a megaphone, as police watched on.

Pashinyan last week condemned what he said was an attempted coup after the army demanded he quit in the wake of what critics say was the government’s disastrous handling of the bloody six-week conflict with Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In response to the military’s demand, Pashinyan dismissed Chief of General Staff Onik Gasparyan on Thursday.

But Armenian President Armen Sarkissian refused to formally approve Gasparyan’s sacking. Sarkissian said the move was unconstitutional and that the army should be kept out of politics.

Pashinyan criticised the president’s move, saying in a statement on Facebook that “this decision doesn’t contribute to the solution of the current situation at all”.

This is a breaking news story. More details to follow…