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Georgia: Gunmen Attempt To Disrupt Opposition Rally In Western City

Zugdidi, Georgia; 7 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Masked gunmen today attempted to disrupt an opposition rally in the western Georgian city of Zugdidi by firing into the air. One woman was injured by a stray bullet. The identity of the attackers remains unknown. Zugdidi is a stronghold of supporters of late nationalist President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.

The incident occurred while Mikhail Saakashvili, the leader of the opposition National Movement-Democratic Front party, was preparing to address supporters near the city's main administrative building. Special police forces cordoned off the area after the shootout, thus allowing for the meeting to proceed.

Saakashvili, whose party placed third in last week's parliamentary elections, has accused President Eduard Shevardnadze of stealing the election and called for several protest rallies to be held in Georgian cities today.