Several injured in Georgia clashes

Activists and police injured in Tbilisi as protests against president turn violent.

    Demonstrators have been protesting against the president in the capital for seven weeks [AFP]

    'Protesters hospitalised'

    "It was a provocation by a group of policemen who started beating people," Kakha Kukava, an opposition leader, said.

    Sophio Jajanashvili, a spokeswoman for the opposition Georgia's Way party, said: "At least seven protesters were beaten by the police, they were hospitalised with broken heads and legs."

    Television pictures showed several wounded protesters, one with blood streaming from his head.

    Earlier, hundreds of demonstrators had marched through the centre of Tbilisi
    and rallied outside parliament.

    The clashes have sparked fears that protests, which have been continuing in the capital for seven weeks, are spiralling into widespread unrest.

    Transport threat

    Threats by activists to block the main highway and railway line have also deepened fears that violent confrontations could break out in the former Soviet republic.

    The opposition are demanding the resignation of Saakashvili over his handling of last year's conflict with Russia and claims his rule is becoming increasingly autocratic.

    Critics say the 41-year-old leader has monopolised power since the 2003 Rose Revolution that swept him to power.

    Demonstrators are planning to rally again on Friday in a bid to build momentum against the leader. 

    But Saakashvili has resisted calls to resign, and has pointed to the largely peaceful protests in the capital as a sign that democracy is maturing in Georgia.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    What happens when the US government shuts down?

    The US government has shut down. What happens next?

    US federal government begins partial shutdown after Senate blocks short-term spending bill. What happens next?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Is an empowered Palestinian girl not worthy of Western feminist admiration?