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Adjar Rebels Destroy Bridge Links To Georgia

2 May 2004 -- In Georgia, Adjar forces have blown up a key bridge between their troubled region and the rest of the country.

The bridge over the Choloki River was completely destroyed, cutting off all car and truck traffic. An Adjar official said two other bridges were also destroyed.

Adjaria's leader, Aslan Abashidze, called the action a "preventative measure" against possible military action by the central Georgian government.

The bridge blasts coincided with the final day of Georgia's largest-ever military maneuvers, which were being conducted nearby.

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili has repeatedly denied that there are plans to move militarily against Adjaria.

Adjaria is part of Georgia but, under Abashidze's leadership, it has operated outside of central government control. Saakashvili has vowed to bring that situation to an end.