Armenia presidential candidate shot


Armenian opposition supporters hold national flags during a rally in Yerevan on September 30, 2011.



Armenian presidential candidate Paruir Airikian was shot and wounded in the capital of Yerevan.

Chief doctor of the Yerevan Clinical Hospital said Airikian was in stable condition, according to the Associated Press. He is said to have been shot by an unknown gunman just before midnight Thursday.

BBC News reported that Airikian was hit in the shoulder. He is one of eight people running for president in the February 18 election, and is known as a Soviet-era dissident.

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Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting, noted the Public Radio of Armenia. More than 20 police officers were dispatched to the scene of the crime.

The local radio station also said many politicians and senior government officials visited Airikian in the hospital, including Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Deputy Parliament Speaker Edward Sharmazanov.