- Title: GEORGIA: GOVERNMENT TROOPS CLASH WITH AN ARMOURED COLUMN OF MUTINOUS SOLDIERS
- Date: 19th October 1998
- Summary: NEAR KUTAISI AND KUTAISI, GEORGIA (OCTOBER 19, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) NEAR KUTAISI, GEORGIA 1. LV/SV OF GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS TANKS/CHECKPOINTS ON TBILISI-KUTAISI HIGHWAY (3 SHOTS) 0.20 2. SV SOLDIERS STOPPING CARS 0.32 KUTAISI, GEORGIA 3. SLV OF GOVERNMENT TANKS ON MANOUEVRE/SOLDIERS (2 SHOTS) 0.46 4. LV/SV PEOPLE CROWDED INTO KUTAISI MAIN SQUARE (3 SHOTS) 0.56 5. SLV/SV OF TANKS/SOLDIERS LOADING MUNITIONS/ CIVILIANS LEAVING THE AREA (23 SHOTS) 2.59 6. SLV TROOPS ON PATROL 3.06 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 3rd November 1998 12:00
- Location: KUTAISI AND NEAR TBILISI, GEORGIA
- Country: Georgia
- Reuters ID: LVA8RJLT4GMG9019BUQTN20HY2UL
- Story Text: The boom of artillery rumbled outside Georgia's second
largest city on Monday as government troops clashed with an
armoured column of mutinous soldiers.
Tanks and artillery were in place to defend the
entrance to Kutaisi on Monday (October 19)after 200 soldiers
opposing President Eduard Shevardnadze launched a revolt in
western Georgia in the early hours of the morning, seizing
tanks and armoured vehicles.
People fleeing the area said there were clashes in Khomi,
a town about 20 km (12 miles) from the Kutaisi city limits.
State television, reporting from near Senaki where the
mutiny started, said the rebel soldiers had seized 10 tanks
and two armoured vehicles.Talks with the rebels broke off in
the early afternoon and the rebels headed towards Kutaisi.
Reuters correspondents saw small convoys of Georgian
troops rumbling along the highway from Tbilisi towards the
west of the country.Two tanks and artillery stood at a bridge
at the entrance to Kutaisi.
Officials said the rebels were led by Akaki Eliava, who
commanded a revolt of nationalist supporters of Georgia's
ousted leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia in 1992-93.Gamsakhurdia died
during the rebellion in mysterious circumstances in 1993.
Eliava, who was granted amnesty after the Gamsakhurdia
revolt, had served recently in the Senaki tank brigade.
A Defence Ministry spokesman said a group of armed men
also seized 15 automatic rifles from a chemical weapons
battalion in the western town of Zestaphoni early on Monday.
He said he believed the incidents were linked.
In a sign of how closely the country's economic future has
been linked to efforts to ensure civil peace, a major foreign
oil consortium immediately announced it was suspending work
renovating a pipeline that was to be finished by this year.
The consortium, which is developing oil deposits in
Azerbaijan, is due to announce plans for delivering larger
quantities of oil to Black Sea ports later this month.One
option, backed by Tbilisi, is to build a much bigger pipeline
Georgian officials in the past have said civil unrest in
their country was fomented by backers of rival pipelines.
Shevardnadze directly linked the latest attacks to the
Georgia has been the scene of internal strife since leaving
the Soviet Union in 1991.Two regions claim independence.
Shevardnadze has disarmed gangs of youths once loyal to
powerful warlords and restored civil peace and economic growth
to most of the country since the mid-1990s.But he has been
the target of several assassination attempts and
Gamsakhurdia's supporters have never reconciled themselves to
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