Margarian Condemns Exploiting Current Crisis

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Deputy Interior and National Security Minister of Armenia–Interior Troops Commander–Major-General Artsrun Markarian said Monday that no one should "exploit" this week’s armed attack on him for political purposes.

"I won’t have anybody–whether a political party or movement–turn these events into a matter of political speculations…The case is now under investigation and it will soon be revealed what really happened. No one is entitled to create a topic for political speculation in connection with these events either on my behalf or on behalf of anybody else," said–Saturday–with regards to the attempt on his life.

Markarian was wounded in the legs on Wednesday night by unknown gunmen while entering his apartment building in the capital Yerevan.

Markarian was taken to hospital and underwent a seven-hour surgery.

Markarian refused to comment on yesterday’s claims by Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisian that he had been warned about the attacks.

"We will talk about that later," Markarian said.

Sarkisian voiced doubts that the recent attacks on Markarian and two other top government officials were murder attempts–saying that Markarian was informed about that shortly before he was fired upon.

Implicating the ruling Armenian National Movement–Sarkisian charged that the attacks were inspired by those who want to unseat the government of Prime Minister Robert Kocharian.

Kocharian and the ANM–supported by Levon Ter-Petrosyan–are at odds over how to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Parliament and ANM member Andranik Kocharian who visited Margarian earlier–confirmed that he had been warned of the plotted assassination attempt.

However–Kocharian declined to provide any information as to when the warning came and by whom it was made.

Hospital Director Artavazd Sahakian reported that Markarian’s condition was stable.

He was transferred out of the rehabilitation center on Saturday.

His room is being guarded around the clock.

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