Schools and factories closed Friday as thousands of Armenians staged a strike to renew their call for annexation of a disputed region in neighboring Azerbaijan, an activist said.

Hovik Vassilyan said 150,000 people demonstrated on a main square in the Armenian capital to support a work stoppage that started Monday in Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed region in Azerbaijan.The strike in Nagorno-Karabakh, populated mostly by Armenians, is scheduled to end Sunday, Vassilyan said.

"People are everywhere," said Vassilyan, a former political prisoner and the editor of an unsanctioned Armenian nationalist journal. He spoke by telephone from Yerevan.