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Armenian presidential candidate wounded

Feb. 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM

YEREVAN, Armenia, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A presidential candidate in Armenia, wounded in an apparent assassination attempt, is recovering from a bullet in the shoulder, officials said Friday.

Paruir Airikian, 63, was shot Thursday near his home in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, RIA Novosti reported.

Airikian was reported in stable condition, Novosti-Armenia news agency said. His doctors said surgery to remove the bullet early Friday was successful, and the candidate was under anesthesia.

The head of the Union for National Self-Determination, Airikian is one of eight candidates running in the presidential election set for Feb. 18.

Political analysts have said President Serzh Sargsyan is expected to win a second term, EurasiaNet.org reported. Airikian polls at less than 5 percent.

Airikian began his political career as a dissident when Armenia was a Soviet republic. He has been the target of a number of assassination attempts in the past.

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