Georgia foils 'Russian-backed anti-NATO attack'

6th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Georgia said Monday it had foiled an attempt to bomb a NATO office in the capital Tbilisi ordered by the ex-Soviet state's foe Russia in what it said was the second thwarted attack in the past week.

Police said they had arrested a man carrying explosives who was ordered by a Russian security official and police in Georgia's rebel region of South Ossetia to target the NATO liaison office.

"Another terrorist act has been averted," the interior ministry said in a statement.

Police video aired on Georgian television showed bomb disposal experts destroying the alleged explosive device.

"According to the suspect's testimony, he was promised $2,000 to stage the terrorist attack," the ministry statement said.

Last Thursday, the interior ministry said a man and a woman were also detained after allegedly planning to detonate bombs under the orders of Russian miltary intelligence officers.

Since the war between the two countries in 2008, Georgian police have arrested a series of suspects for allegedly setting off blasts or planning attacks on behalf of 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 explosions last year, including a blast near the US embassy in Tbilisi.

Political tensions between Russia and the pro-Western administration in Georgia, which is seeking to join NATO, have remained high since the war in 2008.

© 2011 AFP

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