YEREVAN – Thousands massed Thursday in Armenia's capital to protest the terms of a cease-fire agreement that gave territorial concessions to Azerbaijan in the long-running conflict over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The rally marked the third straight day of demonstrations triggered by the truce to halt more than six weeks of deadly fighting between the two ex-Soviet nations. Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.
The Moscow-brokered agreement calls for Armenia to turn over control of some areas its holds outside Nagorno-Karabakh's borders to Azerbaijan.
It prompted celebrations in Baku, but angered Armenians, and many took to the streets soon after it was announced early Tuesday. Protesters stormed government buildings and demanded that the pact be invalidated.
At a large rally Wednesday, Armenian opposition parties and their supporters demanded that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian resign, calling the agreement he signed “treacherous” and “humiliating.”
Late in the evening, lawmakers called an emergency session of parliament to consider Pashinian's dismissal but didn't have a quorum to follow through with it. Pashinian’s faction holds 88 of 132 seats in parliament, and its members didn't show up.
Armenian authorities said Thursday they detained 10 opposition politicians on charges of fomenting mass unrest. Naira Zograbyan, a member of the Prosperous Armenia opposition party, said at Thursday's rally that those detained were political prisoners and expressed concern about further crackdowns on the opposition.
Crowds of people marched through the center of Yerevan and denounced Pashinian, chanting “Nikol, go away!” and “Nikol the traitor!” Over 60 people were detained, Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reported.