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Reports Say Georgia Mutiny Suspect Killed

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
TBILISI (Reuters) -- A suspect in a tank base mutiny in Georgia this month has been killed and two others wounded in a police operation to arrest them, a senior Interior Ministry source said.

Gia Krialashvili was killed in what witnesses told Georgian Rustavi 2 television was a two-hour shootout just outside the capital, Tbilisi.

A senior Interior Ministry source confirmed Krialashvili had died and Koba Otanadze and Levan Amiridze were wounded.

The men, former military servicemen, were wanted in connection with a brief, bloodless mutiny at a tank base just east of Tbilisi on May 5, which deepened fears of a wider rebellion against President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The president has so far faced down more than a month of opposition protests demanding he resign over his record on democracy and last year's disastrous war with Russia.

Georgia alleged Russian links to the mutiny and accused Moscow of trying to foment wider unrest against the government. Russia said the accusations were absurd.