Rally in Times Square to mark 100th anniversary of killings of Armenians

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TIMES SQUARE (PIX11/AP) — Throngs of demonstrators are expected to pack Times Square Sunday afternoon to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

Sunday’s demonstration is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. and last until 4:30 p.m. near Seventh Avenue and 46th Street.

Federal lawmakers and other government officials are expected to attend, according to the rally’s sponsor the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America.

By noon, demonstrators had gathered in Midtown.

The event mirrors those in other major cities across the U.S., including in Los Angeles where on Saturday thousands of marchers walked 6 miles from Little Armenia to the Turkish Consulate, carrying flags and signs.

This weekend’s rallies come after President Barack Obama once again stopped short of calling the 1915 killings a genocide. Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I.

Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, and earlier this month recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after Pope Francis described the killings as genocide.