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Georgia Says Adjaria Behind Plot To Kill Saakashvili

Mikheil Saakashvili Tbilisi, 2 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian authorities today accused the leadership of the autonomous province of Adjaria of plotting to assassinate President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Deputy State Security Minister Gigi Ugulava today said four suspected contract killers allegedly linked to Adjaria's Security Minister Soso Gogitidze and Deputy Interior Minister Davit Bakuridze had been arrested in the past few days.

Ugulava said one of these suspects was more particularly in charge of studying Saakashvili's movements in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

On 29 March, Saakashvili said he would ask the national parliament to outlaw the Adjar Security Ministry.

Relations between Tbilisi and the unruly Black Sea region have significantly deteriorated since Saakashvili was elected president in January. The new Georgian leader has vowed to restore political and financial control over the province.