Incident Summary:

10/27/1999: Five gunmen stormed the Armenian Parliament in Yerevan, Armenia. Eight individuals, including Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian, were killed and another fifty were taken hostage. After a one-day standoff, all but one of the hostages were released. The remaining hostage was released once the attackers had made their getaway. Reporters in the parliament chamber at the time of the attack identified the leader of the gunmen as Nairi Unanian, an extreme nationalist and former journalist, according to reporters in the chamber at the time of the attack. His brother and uncle were also among the attackers.




Central Asia

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Assassination
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Prime Minister of Armenia
Specific Description Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian
Nationality of Target Armenia
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Armenian Parliament
Specific Description Members of the Armenian Parliament
Nationality of Target Armenia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 50
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 1
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Agriculture Minister Gagig Shakhbazian and Parliament member Garant Voskanian both suffered heart attacks in the incident and were released after about 10 hours of captivity and taken to the hospital. Those killed included Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian, Parliament Speaker Karen Demirchian, Deputy Speaker Yuri Bakhshian, Energy Minister Leonard Petrosian, Senior Economic Official Mikhail Kotanian, Deputy Speaker Ruben Miroian, and Genrikh Abramian, another member of parliament.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Armenian nationalists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 5
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 8 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 8
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"France Condemns Attack on Armenian Parliament,” Agence France Presse, October 27, 1999.
"Gunmen Kill Armenia's Premier, Hold Hostages in Parliament,” The Associated Press, October 27, 1999.
"Armenian Gunmen Release Hostages,” The Associated Press, October 28, 1999.