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UNM MP Survives Car Blast in Tbilisi Center
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Oct.'16 / 23:19

A car, carrying lawmaker from opposition UNM party, Givi Targamadze, exploded late on Tuesday evening in the center of Tbilisi, close to Freedom Square.

MP Targamadze told journalist at the scene that he and his driver survived unharmed, but several by-passers were injured. Later it was reported that the driver has concussion.

Four people were hospitalized, with one of them reported to be heavily injured. 

Pictures from the scene showed substantial damage to the rear of the car as a result of powerful explosion.

MP Targamadze said he’s “confident” that a remote-controlled explosive device, apparently placed in the rear part of the vehicle, went off.

He said that at the time of the explosion, he was sitting in a front passenger seat, next to the driver.

Deputy Interior Minister, Besik Amiranashvili, who arrived at the scene, told journalists that the police has opened investigation of "an attempted murder in aggravating circumstances."

“We will try to solve the case in the nearest future – the Interior Ministry will spare no efforts for this,” he added.

In a post on his Facebook page, Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now governor of Odessa region in Ukraine, pointed finger at ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili.

“I think he [Targamadze] was chosen as a target because he has been keeping active contacts with the law enforcement [officers], which scares Ivanishvili very much,” in the light of upcoming parliamentary elections on October 8, Saakashvili said.

MP Davit Bakradze, who leads UNM’s list of MP candidates in the upcoming elections, said that “Ivanishvili’s regime” threw the country back to those times when people were “blown up in their cars.”

“Therefore putting an end to this government is no longer a matter of political taste – it is about our future security and survival,” he said, adding that the government on whose watch “people are being blown up in cars in Tbilisi, should go.”

“I believe that the Georgian people will use this chance in three days [on the election day] and will vote this government out,” MP Bakradze said.

[Original report updated to reflect that MP Targamadze was in the car at the time of the explosion. Original report also referred to the statement of the Minister of Healthcare that the condition of the injured citizens was not life-threatening. According to the latest reports, at least one person is in a serious condition]

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