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Georgian President Calls Bomb 'Political Terrorism'

Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo) 2 February 2005 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said a car-bomb explosion in the central city of Gori yesterday that killed three policemen was an "act of political terrorism."

Saakashvili, in a statement to the press following an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, said the bombers wanted to derail attempts to resolve old conflicts peacefully.

Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili speaking in Gori, called the attack well-planned.

"This is clearly a well-planned terrorist act because this was quite a big explosion. It killed three policemen and wounded 13 people, some of them seriously. Experts are now trying to establish what sort of explosive device was used, and we should have a complete picture by the end of the day. I can say categorically that this was done by people who don't want peace in Georgia, who don't want law and order, and who don't want this country to develop. And we know who these people are," Okruashvili said.

Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili said the bombing was planned outside Georgia, but did not say where.

Gori lies just a few kilometers south of the separatist republic of South Ossetia.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, but earlier today Interior Minister Ivane Merabishvili said authorities were looking into all possible leads, including that of South Ossetian involvement.

The breakaway republic's leadership today denied any involvement in the blast.

(Reuters/Caucasus Press)

See also:

"Georgia: Blast Rocks Central City, Government Blames 'Terrorists'"

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