YEREVAN–Armenia on Monday marked the 9th anniversary of the day when Armed gunmen’stormed the National Assembly, assassinating Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and seven other government officials.
The eight men were shot dead on October 27, 1999 momen’s after gunmen led by an obscure former journalist, Nairi Hunanian, burst into the National Assembly and sprayed it with bullets. All four gunmen were arrested the next day and sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2003.
Alongside Sarkisian, Armenia’s Parliamentary Speaker Karen Demirchyan, Deputy Speakers Yuri Bakhshyan and Ruben Miroyan, Armenia’s Emergencies Minister Leonard Petrosyan, as well as several key advisors were killed when the men with automatic weapons burst into the parliament chamber where Sarkisian was addressing lawmakers.
Members of Armenia’s parliament Monday paid tribute to the memory of the victims of the October 27, 1999 attack, placing flowers at the memorial to the tragedy located in the National Assembly’s courtyard.
“Every year on October 27 we stand before this memorial stone to give tribute to the victims of the severe crime and again say our decisive ‘No’ to terrorism, intolerance and animosity, Armenia’s National Assembly Speaker, Hovik Abrahamyan said, adding that such crimes must never repeat themselves. “We should again ensure that our strength is in our unity, and only together can we build a more dignified Armenia, which I am sure was the dream of Karen Demirchyan, Vazgen Sargsyan, Yuri Bakhshyan and our other colleagues, who fell victims to the crime.”
The Armenian nation will forever bear the pain and sorrow it experienced on that October day, Abrahamian added.