26 May 2011

Georgia riot police clear Tbilisi protesters

Riot police in Georgia have cleared anti-government protesters from outside the parliament building in Tbilisi. The police fired tear gas and water cannon at the protesters, some of whom fought back with sticks.

Hundreds of people have been demonstrating daily since the weekend, calling for President Mikhail Saakashvili to step down. The protesters say the president has failed to tackle poverty and accuse him of monopolising power.

The police moved in on the protesters shortly after midnight, as heavy rain fell. Police cleared the protest in about 30 minutes, reports said

Backed by armoured cars firing water cannon, large numbers of riot police arrived from several directions, according to witnesses. Clashes broke out with some of the protesters who were armed with long sticks and makeshift shields.

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