YEREVAN, Armenia

Armenian intelligence said Sunday it prevented an attempted assassination against Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

A search of the home of a suspect with anti-government views in the Syunik region, southern Armenia, found a large cache of weapons, ammunition and explosives brought from the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian National Security Service said in a statement.

“These serious crimes were uncovered and prevented by the National Security Service,” according to the statement that suggested that the suspect agreed with politicians in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh to kill Pashinyan and usurp power by using the weapons.

Leaders and members of opposition parties and a volunteer unit commander were detained for allegedly having direct ties to the incident.

Meanwhile, Artur Vanetsyan, the former head of Armenian intelligence and head of the Fatherland Party, was detained on charges of preparing to assassinate Pashinyan and usurp power.

Armenians protested after Pashinyan accepted defeat against Azerbaijan.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted Sept. 27 and the Armenian army continued its attacks on civilian and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements for 44 days.

Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time.

On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution. ​​​​​​​

Turkey welcomed the truce as a “great victory” for Azerbaijan.

*Writing by Merve Berker

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.