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Mayoral Candidates Clash Before Elections in Armenia

Just two days before the Sunday local self-government elections in Armenia's city of Etchmiadzin, a violent clash took place late on Friday between the city's current mayor Karen Grigoryan and mayoral candidate Artur Tumanyan, 1in.am reports, adding that situation in the city is extremely tense, and police have been patrolling the neighbourhood where the shooting occurred.

According to the source, at around 11:30 pm Friday, at least one gunman opened fire on the car carrying Etchmiadzin mayor Karen Grigoryan, the son of Republican MP and former army general Manvel Grigoryan. 1in.am writes that the gunfire came from another vehicle, a VAZ 21/06 owned by former Etchmiadzin mayor Hrachik Abgaryan's nephew, Stepan Abgaryan. Artur Tumanyan was also inside Abgaryan's car at the time. 

Shortly after the shooting, the website continues, Grigoryan's supporters deliberately crashed their car into the VAZ 21/06, attacked those inside and seized their weapons. Speaking to 1in.am, Etchmiadzin former mayor Hrachik Abgaryan said his nephew, along with mayoral candidate Artur Tumanyan, has been hospitalized as a result and that police were patrolling the area “to make sure that nothing happens to us.”

Abgaryan insisted that the clash had been incited by Karen Grigoryan and his supporters. “They were the ones to come to our area in the first place. What a disgrace to my nation! This is the end.”