Major-General Artsrun Markarian, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and National Security and commander of the country’s interior troops, was assassinated yesterday by unidentified gunmen on a highway outside Yerevan. Markarian, 40, had survived an assassination attempt in January 1998, during the shadowy power struggle which led to the deposition of then-president Levon Ter-Petrosian by those who now rule. Wounded in that attack, Markarian had seemed to suggest obliquely that Ter-Petrosian’s adversaries may have been involved in the incident. Those adversaries are considered to have been, mainly, Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and Internal Affairs and State Security Minister Serge Sarkisian (no relation), holders of those portfolios then and now (Noyan-Tapan, February 9).
Armenia has in recent years witnessed a series of high-profile but unresolved murders linked to the shadow economy or political intrigue. Senior officials killed since 1992 include: State Security Committee chief, Major-General Marius Yuzbashian; Armenia Railroads Director-General Hambartsum Kandilian; Chamber of Industry and Trade President Ashot Sarkisian; Yerevan mayor Hambartsum Galstian; Prosecutor-General Henrik Khachatrian; and, last December, Deputy Defense Minister, Colonel Vahram Khorkhoruni.
ALIEV’S SON PROPOSED AS SUCCESSOR.