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Tensions and scuffles were seen outside the parliament building in Tbilisi on Thursday, as thousands of people gathered for an anti-government rally.
Protesters tried to enter the parliament for the second time, but the crowd had become smaller by that point. Projectiles can be seen being fired into the air as objects are hurled towards the parliament building and police lines. Police can also be seen later handing bottles of water to protesters as the crowds remained outside the parliament building.
Georgia’s Health Ministry reports 52 injured, including 38 police officers, during protests, while Georgia’s Interior Ministry called on demonstrators “to immediately stop the violations of law and violence, otherwise, police will take measures provided by law,” in a statement published on their official website, Georgia’s
Later, eyewitnesses reported that riot police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
Earlier in the night, protesters tried to force their way into the building as they demanded the resignation of parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze and other top officials.
The rally began after Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov addressed the audience from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker during the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy earlier on Thursday. A number of Georgian opposition politicians left the session in protest.
Tbilisi Mayor Kakhaber Kaladze said it was “unacceptable” to hold the assembly “under the leadership of a Russian speaker.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin expressed his “outrage” over the accident.
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