Archive for Thursday, July 21, 2005

Man held in Bush grenade throwing

July 21, 2005

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— Georgian police on Wednesday detained a man suspected of throwing a live grenade during a rally at which President Bush spoke in May, the Interior Ministry said. The capture came after a shootout in which one officer was killed and another wounded.

The shootout and detention occurred Wednesday evening in the village of Vashlisdzhvari, outside the capital, Tbilisi, ministry spokesman Guram Donadze told The Associated Press. The suspect fled into the woods but was later detained, Donadze said.

Rustavi-2 television showed pictures of a dark-haired man it described as the suspect being hustled into a car by police officers. It said he was wounded and identified him as Vladimir Arutyunov, in his late 20s.

The man lived in an eight-story apartment building with his mother, Rustavi-2 reported, citing neighbors as saying Arutyunov was unemployed. The report could not immediately be confirmed.

The U.S. Secret Service is monitoring the investigation by Georgian authorities but "was not directly involved and not present" at the arrest, said agency spokesman Eric Zahren.

The police operation came two days after authorities released a photograph of a man suspected of throwing the grenade, which failed to explode, at a podium where Bush was speaking May 10 before tens of thousands of people.

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