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The Associated Press about rallies in Georgia
Georgia
vakhadze

TBILISI, Ga. - Thousands of opposition demonstrators rallied in the capital of Georgia Saturday calling on President Mikhail Saakashvili to step down.

Opposition accuses the U.S.-educated and pro-Western leader of corruption and a crackdown on democratic reforms.

"This is the beginning of decisive fight for liberation of Georgia from Saakashvili," former world chess champion and opposition leader Nona Gaprindashvili told the crowd. She said the protests will last for five days.

Another opposition leader, Nino Burdzhanadze, said the police detained hundreds of activists on their way to central Tbilisi.

Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said that was an "absolute nonsense."

Another protest took place Saturday in the Black Sea port of Batumi. Utiashvili said a crowd of protesters tried to storm a television company, but police prevented them from entering the building.



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