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Armenian President Lifts Some Emergency Restrictions


Armenian President Robert Kocharian has lifted some of the restrictions on the news media imposed earlier this month under a state of emergency after opposition protests led to violent clashes with police.

Mr. Kocharian's decree, which is to take effect Friday, permits news media to report on government actions and to comment on policies. It also permits distribution of political leaflets and other campaign activities. But it continues a ban on what it calls "false and destabilizing information."

Mr. Kocharian imposed a 20-day state of emergency after clashes between riot police and protesters killed eight people and wounded 131.

Opposition leaders charge that voting in last month's presidential election was rigged in favor of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan, who won a landslide against former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

In Washington, a White House spokesman says the administration continues to follow the situation with concern. He urged a swift solution to the crisis.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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