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Georgia Leader Warns of Coup Attempt Amid Unrest

Georgia’s President Eduard Shevardnadze accused opposition leaders on Monday of trying to engineer a coup as he scrambled to shore up support at home and abroad after a week of protests over disputed election results. The opposition, which has protested almost daily over the results of a November 2 parliamentary poll, continued noisy street demonstrations and launched a hunger strike to add to pressure on the veteran leader to resign or hold a new election. Shevardnadze, popular in the West for his role in ending the Cold War as Soviet foreign minister but increasingly disliked at home, has also tried to warm once-icy ties with Russia to avoid a return of violence last seen in Georgia in the early 1990s. Georgia’s defense minister said on Sunday the political situation was “practically out of control” in a country where Western governments and investors hope for stability to secure an alternative route for oil, avoiding the Gulf. Full Story

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