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7 Feb, 2008 11:23

Fists and rocks fly ahead of Armenian election

Tensions are rising in Armenia in the run-up to the presidential election. Mass violence has broken out at a rally in support of former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan in the city of Artashat.

A group of young men started throwing rocks and pieces of ice into the crowd and at the stage.

When Ter-Petrosyan’s supporters tried to stop them, fighting broke out and  several people were injured.

The former president called the incident a ‘government provocation’ aimed at derailing his election campaign.

Armenian law enforcement officers say that during his speech the former president made offensive statements against his opponents, which sparked the disturbances.

The election is due to take place in two weeks.