Georgian Opposition, Police Clash in Tbilisi, Burjanadze Says

Georgian anti-government protesters clashed today with police after blockading the state television headquarters overnight, opposition leader Nino Burjanadze said.

The police used rubber bullets and tear gas and at least one seriously injured woman was taken to hospital, Burjanadze, a former speaker of parliament, said in an interview.

Police denied using tear gas and said the demonstrators attacked a police car with sticks, Shota Utiashvili, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said by telephone.

The protesters are seeking to oust President Mikheil Saakashvili, a one-time ally of Burjanadze whom the opposition accuses of manipulating elections. Saakashvili opponents last staged a major rally in 2009.

U.S.-backed Saakashvili, 43, swept to power in the so- called Rose Revolution in 2003. He has been under pressure since 2007, when protests turned violent as opponents accused him of political persecution and failing to raise living standards.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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