Kindergarten in Armenia’s Armavir temporarily closed after hostage-taking incident

The kindergarten in the Armenian city of Armavir has been temporarily closed after a man took a child and staff hostage on Monday in a tense standoff that lasted for several hours.

The Police freed the 3-year-old boy, who was unhurt, and arrested his knife-wielding captor. Two women were injured in the incident.

Immediately after a police officer took the child out of the room, police used a stun grenade to arrest the attacker. The assailant tried to kill himself but was stopped by police.

The boy will now attend a different kindergarten free of charge. Representatives of municipal and regional authorities of Armavir visited Hamayak Hovhannisyan today with gifts and sweets.

Hamayak’s mother says he slept calmly at night, but the family has been advised to attend a psychologist.

The Investigative Committee has instigated a criminal case under paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 218 of Armenia’s Criminal Code (taking hostage or keeping a hostage using a weapon or some other item as a weapon).

The assailant’s demands were of personal character. Months ago the man identified as Argam Hovikyan attacked the house of Roza Hovhannisyan, Director of the pre-school institution, who was injured in the incident. The other woman that was injured appeared to be the director’s granddaughter and the hostage-taker’s ex-wife, whom he divorced a few months ago.

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