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Georgian Official Arrested In Fatal Monument Blast

The demolition of the memorial in Kutaisi
The demolition of the memorial in Kutaisi
TBILISI -- A Tbilisi court has ordered the director of a demolition company be held for two months of preliminary detention after a controlled explosion at a Soviet-era war memorial killed two people, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Avtandil Darsanvelidze, the director of the GruzVzryvProm company that conducted the demolition work at the memorial in Georgia's second-largest city, Kutaisi, on December 19, has been detained as an investigation takes place into the events that resulted in a mother and her young daughter being killed.

Hundreds of opposition activists gathered today at the site devoted to the victims and veterans of World War II demanding that officials be punished for the deaths.

The Georgian government demolished the memorial to make room for a new building that will host some sessions of the national parliament.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on December 20 sacked Mikheil Chogovadze, the governor of the Imereti region, over the incident.