World Bulletin / News Desk
An Armenian presidential candidate was wounded by unknown gunmen in the capital Yerevan on Thursday night, police said, in an attack that could delay February's election.
Paruyr Hayrikyan, whose life was not in danger after the shooting, is one of eight candidates running in the Feb. 18 vote but is not seen as a strong challenger to Serzh Sarksyan, who is expected to be re-elected for a second five-year term.
However, according to Armenia's constitution, the election could be postponed by two weeks if a candidate is unable to campaign or run. In the event of a candidate's death, a new election is called, to be held within 40 days.
The 2008 presidential election in Armenia - a landlocked ex-Soviet republic of 3.2 million that is Russia's main ally in the South Caucasus - was marred by violent clashes between opposition protesters and police.
"Those, who did it, wanted to destabilise the situation in the country, but they failed," Hovik Abrahamyan, the parliamentary speaker, told reporters.
"It will depend on Paruyr Hayrikyan's condition whether the election will be postponed or not," he said.
Armenian Shans TV reported that gunmen fired two shots, wounding Hayrikyan with a bullet to his shoulder in the courtyard of his house at the centre of the capital.
He was taken to hospital after his neighbours, who heard shots and found him, called police and an ambulance.
"(Unknown gunmen) were shooting at the presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan ... Doctors say his life is not in danger," Vladimir Gasparyan, the head of the country's police department, told reporters at the hospital in comments aired by Shans TV.
Hayrikyan, 63, a former dissident, is the leader of a moderate opposition party, the National Selfdetermination Union.
It is not possible, physically or technically, for terrorists to get hold of nuclear weapons and fire them: Mubarak Mand
Women ice hockey team to play in tournament in South Korea amid heightened tensions
Delegation from Yangon will meet local leaders following crackdown, alleged abuses in western state
Newspapers said relatives of the missing had been put through "heaven and hell" and accused the maritime ministry of recklessness.
The confirmation, which sparked strong criticism from rights groups, came a day after Lee Ming-cheh's wife said he had been detained by Chinese security units.
He is now the fourth wealthiest man in China, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, with $23.3 billion on March 29, just behind Pony Ma, founder of internet giant Tencent.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry says it summoned a French diplomat after a Chinese national was killed by a police officer in Paris.
At least 35 people detained amid riots after Paris police shot Chinese national dead on Sunday
Parliament Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq says 45 out of 108 such teachers have left Pakistan so far
Six other employees of Transport Ministry survive huge mass of snow hitting Bishkek-Osh road early Tuesday, local media says
Security forces have been accused of opening fire on unarmed protesters in Chadoora area
High levels of children out-of-school belies achievements since fall of Taliban
Army says militants were pressured to free kidnapped engineer after non-stop four-day military operation
The wreckage of the 6,800-ton ferry now sits aboard the deck of the semi-submersible heavy lift transport vessel Dockwise White Marlin.
If convicted, Mr. Ma would have faced a maximum of three years in prison.
Passenger train collides with oil tanker in northeastern Sheikhupura district