27 injured, 19 detained as Tbilisi Police disperses post-election rally

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An Opposition supporter protest in Georgia. (Photo credit: Reuters)
An Opposition supporter protest in Georgia. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Tbilisi [Georgia], November 9 (ANI/Sputnik): Twenty-seven people were injured and 19 others were detained during an overnight protest outside the Central Election Commission's (CEC) building in Tbilisi, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on Monday.

"During the rally, up to 14 law enforcement officers, three media workers and up to 10 protesters sustained various injuries. Some of them were taken to a clinic ... During the November 8 protest, the police detained 19 people for disobeying lawful orders and violating public order," the ministry said at a briefing.

According to the ministry, protesters damaged police equipment and used force, prompting officers to deploy water cannons.

Police, at the same time, categorically denied using tear gas, deputy minister Kakhaber Sabanadze said, while not ruling out that the substance that had caused protesters to cough was pepper spray.

Georgian opposition, which rejects the results of the October 31 parliamentary elections, held a mass rally outside parliament in Tbilisi on Sunday, demanding the CEC chief's resignation and new elections. In the evening, protesters marched toward the CEC building, planning to block its entrance. The police deployed water cannons twice to disperse the crowd. The protesters and several media outlets allege that officers also used tear gas, a claim that the authorities strongly deny. (ANI/Sputnik)