Europe

Mediator: 2 Yerevan police hostages released

  • Protesters shout as they gather a police cordon near a police station in Yerevan, Armenia, Saturday, July 23, 2016. The president of Armenia on Friday called on the gunmen holding hostages in a police station in the capital to lay down arms and release the four police officers they are holding as the tense standoff stretched into its sixth day. The police station in Yerevan was seized Sunday by gunmen seeking the release of an opposition figure who was arrested in June for illegal weapons possession. One policeman was killed in the assault. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Protesters shout as they gather a police cordon near a police station in Yerevan, Armenia, Saturday, July 23, 2016. The president of Armenia on Friday called on the gunmen holding hostages in a police station in the capital to lay down arms and release the four police officers they are holding as the tense standoff stretched into its sixth day. The police station in Yerevan was seized Sunday by gunmen seeking the release of an opposition figure who was arrested in June for illegal weapons possession. One policeman was killed in the assault. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protester stands on a barricade confronting a police cordon near a police station in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, July 21, 2016. More than 50 people have been injured in clashes near a police station in Armenia's capital where armed men have been holding hostages for four days and protesters erected barricades on a nearby avenue. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    A protester stands on a barricade confronting a police cordon near a police station in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, July 21, 2016. More than 50 people have been injured in clashes near a police station in Armenia's capital where armed men have been holding hostages for four days and protesters erected barricades on a nearby avenue. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A mediator in the police hostage standoff in the Armenian capital is telling local media that two hostages have been released and that a tentative agreement on freeing the other two has been reached.

The standoff began July 17 when armed men stormed a police station, killing one officer and taking others hostage. They are demanding the release of an opposition figure who was arrested last month.

The Armenpress news agency says Vitaly Balasanian, a parliament member who has been a go-between between authorities and the gunmen, said that two of the hostages were released Saturday. He also said the other two, who include Armenia's deputy police chief, would be released if an agreement to establish a media center near the standoff site was fulfilled.