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Georgian police use teargas on protesters

Georgian police use teargas on protesters
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Georgian riot police have clashed with hundreds of protesters calling for the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The violence came on the eve of the country’s Independence Day.

It followed five days of demonstrations against what protesters describe as Saakashvili’s iron-fisted rule.

Riot police used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds who refused to leave central Tbilisi.

One policeman is said to have died after being hit by a vehicle. Numerous arrests were made.

Opponents accuse the pro-Western Saakashvili of monopolising power since the 2003 Rose Revolution that ousted the post-Soviet old guard from the Caucasus state.

Several people were taken to hospital after witnesses say they saw police beat protesters with batons.