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Driver slashes 3 with knife at Fresno rally backing Armenia

October 29, 2020 GMT

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A man slashed three people with a knife at a Fresno demonstration after he confronted them for blocking traffic, police said.

The demonstrators from a “Stand with Armenia” rally had parked a couple of cars on the street, blocking the flow of traffic. That agitated the man, who got out of his car and confronted some of the demonstrators Wednesday, police Lt. Israel Reyes told the Fresno Bee.

Witnesses told investigators that he returned to his vehicle and pulled out a bat or a stick and started swinging it at the crowd of about 150, Reyes said.

At least one person got ahold of the man, and that’s when he pulled out a knife and started swinging it, slashing three people, witnesses told investigators, Reyes said.

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Three men between 18 and 26 were injured. Two were taken to a hospital, one with a laceration to his chest and another with a cut to his arm. The third victim sustained injury to his finger but did not need medical assistance.

None of the injuries were considered life-threatening, Reyes said.

The attacker fled by ramming some vehicles to get out of traffic and was later found and arrested.

Rallies calling for peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been occurring in Fresno and other parts of the world since the latest fighting over a separatist region began Sept. 27.

The countries in the Caucasus region have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994.