Georgian riot police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon at demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili on Wednesday. The security operation began at 8 a.m. local time as police moved in to remove 100 protestors camped outside the parliament building in the capital Tblisi for the past six days.
A further 3,000 protestors gathered in support only to face the wrath of the security forces. Police dispersed the crowds then chased them though the streets wielding batons. In a televised address the president blamed Russian meddling for the crisis and has re-called the country’s ambassador from Moscow. “Georgia is facing a very serious threat of unrest and high-ranking officials in the Russian special services are behind it,” he said.
Opposition leader Georgy Khaindrava saw the clashes. “This bloody action of the government will cause a new wave of mass protests in this country which may lead to the end of this government,” he said. Meanwhile the Georgian opposition television station Imedi, which has led coverage on the protests, said it had gone off-air after being stormed by special forces.