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Armenia: Ex-candidate held in shooting of rival

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) – Vardan Sedrakian, a former Armenian presidential contender, has been arrested in the shooting of another fringe candidate ahead of last month’s election, authorities said Wednesday.

The Jan. 31 attack on Paruir Airikian, who was shot in the shoulder, threatened to cause the vote to be postponed. But the election was held as planned on Feb. 18, and the incumbent president, Serge Sarkisian, won easily with nearly 59 percent of the vote.

Two other men accused in the attack were arrested last month. Sedrakian said at the time that he knew the men, whom he had hired to renovate his apartment.

A spokesman for Armenia’s National Security Agency, Artsvin Bagramian, on Wednesday confirmed Sedrakian’s arrest. On Tuesday, after a court sanctioned his arrest, Sedrakian said in an interview that he had not yet been notified but greeted the news “with humor.”

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