In response to Armenia, an assault on the prime minister was prevented

© Reuters. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is pictured in Yerevan during an interview with Reuters

YEREVAN (Reuters) – Armenia prevented an attack on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the seizure of power by a group of former officials, the National Security Service (NSS) said on Saturday.

Pashinyan had come under pressure since Tuesday, when thousands of demonstrators protested, demanding his resignation over a ceasefire that secured Azerbaijan territorial progress in Nagorno-Karabakh after six weeks of fighting.

The NSS said its former boss Artur Vanetsyan, former leader of the Republican Party faction, Vahram Baghdasaryan, and war volunteer Ashot Minasyan had been arrested.

"The suspects planned to illegally assassinate power by assassinating the prime minister, and potential candidates to replace him have already been discussed," the NSS said in a statement.

Pashinyan said earlier this week that he had no choice but to sign the deal to prevent further territorial losses. He said he took personal responsibility for the setbacks but declined calls to step down.

The ceasefire halted military action in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is populated by ethnic Armenians. 2,000 Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to the region under the agreement.

Since the early 1990s, ethnic Armenians had military control over all of Nagorno-Karabakh and considerable parts of the Azerbaijani territory in the area. You have now lost much of the enclave itself and the area around it.

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