Police arrest several protesters in the Armenian capital Yerevan as people seek PM Nikol Pashinyan's resignation over a ceasefire deal that ended fighting with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Protesters wave an Armenian national flag during a protest against an agreement to halt fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in Yerevan, Armenia, November 11, 2020.
Protesters wave an Armenian national flag during a protest against an agreement to halt fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in Yerevan, Armenia, November 11, 2020. (AP)

Armenian police have arrested demonstrators in the capital Yerevan as anger mounted over Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in central Yerevan on Wednesday shouting "Nikol the traitor," adding that police had detained demonstrators including high-profile opposition figure Gagik Tsarukyan.

Street rallies are banned under martial law imposed by Armenia because of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and, until recently, fully controlled by Armenian forces.

Seventeen political parties scheduled the rally after calling on Pashinyan to quit on Tuesday over the terms of the ceasefire deal, which froze territorial gains made by Azerbaijani forces in fighting that broke out on September 27.

Among those arrested were Gagik Tsarukyan, leader of the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party, according to a Facebook post by Hripsime Arakelian, a member of his party.

READ MORE: Why Azerbaijanis and Armenians have been fighting for so long

Historic deal

Pashinyan announced the Russian-brokered ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan, ending more than six weeks of intense fighting that left more than 1,400 dead and displaced tens of thousands.

"You will not be able to stop the whole country," a member of the Prosperous Armenia party, Arman Abovyan, shouted through a megaphone to protesters who had rallied despite martial law.

Under the terms of the agreement, Azerbaijan's forces will retain control over areas seized in the fighting, including the key town of Shusha, while Armenia agreed to a timetable to withdraw from large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The mountainous region of Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan nearly 30 years ago but it has not been recognised internationally, even by Armenia.

The new agreement was celebrated as a victory in Azerbaijan, which had been trying to regain land lost during a war in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. 

In Armenia, it triggered unrest from crowds who stormed government buildings on Monday and branded the deal a betrayal.

The deal froze territorial gains made by Azerbaijani forces in fighting that broke out on September 27.
The deal froze territorial gains made by Azerbaijani forces in fighting that broke out on September 27. (TRTWorld)

Armenia defeated comprehensively

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has called the deal a defeat of Armenia, saying Yerevan was forced to sign the agreement after losses in the Karabakh battle zone. 

Turkey has helped arm the oil-rich nation in recent decades and sold the military drones that were used in the latest battles.

Turkish President Erdogan has said the deal offered a chance "that should not be wasted and should be used for a just and lasting peace in the region."

READ MORE: Erdogan: Turkey, Russia to monitor Karabakh truce

Source: TRTWorld and agencies