Yerevan: Hundreds of angry Armenians protested near a Russian military base Wednesday, demanding that a soldier accused of murdering a family of six be delivered to Armenian justice authorities for trial.
Russian conscript Valery Permyakov is suspected of having shot dead an entire family in the city of Gyumri, including a two-year-old child. Another infant was gravely injured.
About 200 cars from around the country converged on Gyumri, where funeral services were held for the Avetisyan family.
Hundreds of people picketed the Russian consulate and the prosecutor`s office in Gyumri, demanding that Permyakov be handed over to Armenia for prosecution.
Armenia`s General Prosecutor said after the murder that Permyakov - who was arrested by Russian border guards as he tried to escape and taken back to the Russian base in Gyumri - cannot be surrendered to Armenia because he is a Russian citizen in Russian jurisdiction.
About 2,000 protesters gathered near the base Wednesday evening yelling "Shame!" and waving signs reading "We demand that the murderer is given over to Armenia," according to footage by CivilNet Internet channel.
Armenian police cordoned off the base and deployed a heavy contingent of forces throughout Gyumri, which is the second largest city in Armenia, a landlocked country that is Russia`s staunchest ally in the Caucasus region.