8 Die in Armenia; US Urges Calm

Opposition leader asks protesters to lie low until emergency rule ends
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2008 7:02 PM CST
Opposition supporters clash with police during a protest rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Saturday, March 1, 2008. Armenian police on Saturday dispersed a protest by a few hundred opposition supporters who...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Troops patrolled quiet downtown Yerevan today after police fired back at thousands of protesters this weekend and killed eight, Reuters reports. Authorities have declared emergency rule and outlawed mass meetings for the next 3 weeks. "We won't give up, we will be fighting to the very end," said opposition leader President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who disputes last month's presidential election.

Washington today asked rival Armenian parties to resume talks and find a peaceful solution. US officials are likely concerned because of America's significant Armenian community and an oil transit route that runs through the Caucasus, according to Reuters. An EU human rights watchdog envoy is expected to arrive in Armenia today to help curb the conflict.