Georgia’s Elections Get Explosive … Literally
If Georgia’s unusually low-drama parliamentary election-campaign seemed too good to be true, it was. Any appearance of normality ended abruptly last night with the explosion of a leading opposition MP’s car in downtown Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.
The apparent target, 48-year-old Givi Targamadze, a longtime comrade-in-arms of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, escaped unharmed from the car when its rear section exploded sometime in the mid-evening on October 4 near Freedom Square, a key traffic artery. The vehicle was parked outside an office for Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM), of which Targamadze is a senior member.
Four other people were injured; one remains in serious but stable condition. Targamadze’s driver suffered a concussion.
In connection with the October 4 incident, the Georgian interior ministry has opened an investigation into attempted murder, but not, as yet, into an act of terrorism – a decision that has heightened the political accusations still further.
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