Georgia foils 'Russian-backed bomb plot'

2nd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Georgia said Thursday it had arrested two suspects who were planning to detonate bombs in the ex-Soviet state under orders from arch-foe Russia.

Police arrested a man and a woman in possession of explosives in the west of the country, the interior ministry said.

"They have confessed that they were ordered by Russian officers to set off explosions on Georgian territory," ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili told AFP.

In recent months, Georgian police have detained a series of suspects for allegedly setting off bombs or planning attacks on behalf of the Russian military intelligence.

Three men were accused of trying to blow up state buildings in Georgia's second-largest city of Kutaisi in March, while several more suspects were held on suspicion of staging blasts last year near targets, including the US embassy in Tbilisi.

Political tensions between the Kremlin and the pro-Western administration in Tbilisi have remained high since the ex-Soviet neighbours went to war in 2008.

The high-profile arrests came on the day that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Georgia's rebel region of Abkhazia, which Tbilisi says has been "occupied" by Moscow's troops since the 2008 conflict.

The interior ministry said the latest bomb plot suspects were residents of Abkhazia and the Russian military intelligence officers who allegedly ordered the attack were also based there.

© 2011 AFP

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