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Georgia's Justice Minister Appeals For Calm In Gardabani

Georgia's justice minister has called for calm in the country's Azerbaijani-populated southeastern region of Gardabani, where mass ethnic clashes took place on May 28.

Speaking before a session of the state commission for free and fair elections, of which she is chairwoman, Tea Tsulukiani said the clashes might negatively affect electoral processes in Georgia.

The session on May 29 is focusing on the incident.

Some 500 local residents of Azerbaijani background rallied in the regional capital, Gardabani, on May 29, demanding an investigation into an attack against ethnic Azerbaijanis by dozens of ethnic Georgians on May 28.

The protesters say the attackers accused the Azerbaijanis of supporting Georgia's opposition United National Movement party.

No one was seriously injured.

The protesters left the city center after governor of Kvemo Kartli Province, Giorgi Mgebrishvili, promised to thoroughly investigate the incident.

Based on reporting by and Interfax