Georgia accuses Russia of backing attempted coup

The revolt involved a tank battalion, among others.

Georgian officials have described a revolt that broke out at an Army base near the capital of Tbilisi Tuesday as part of a military coup that has Russian backing.

According to the Georgian Defense Ministry, the commanders of the Mukhrovani Army base have been dismissed and the soldiers confined to barracks. But the situation is yet to be brought under control as only one arrest has been made.

The revolt comes a day before NATO military exercises were scheduled to begin in Georgia. Around 1,000 soldiers from 19 member states and partners are to practice “crisis response” at the Vaziani Army base, which lies east of Tbilisi, 44 miles from Russian troop positions in South Ossetia. Russia has complained that the NATO exercises are “provocative” in the wake of the brief war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia in August 2008. Russia has stationed about 10,000 troops in the breakaway provinces.

csmonitor.com/2009/0505/p99s01-duts.html

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