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Georgia Alleges Opposition Buying Guns to Spark Violence

Georgian police said two of the 10 opposition members arrested this week were plotting to buy weapons to provoke violence during protests against President Mikheil Saakashvili next month.

Videotapes shown to reporters Tuesday in Tbilisi show two suspects from an obscure political grouping, with one of them saying that Georgians seeking to destabilize the country were receiving foreign funding.

An Interior Ministry spokesman, Shota Utiashvili, made no attempt Tuesday to link the two suspects to mainstream opposition members arrested Monday.

Georgian opposition leader and likely presidential candidate Nino Burjanadze has accused police of planting the weapons. Tuesday, the Interfax news agency quoted her as saying the tapes of the two men did not justify bringing charges against members of her party.

Georgian opposition groups are planning a series of protests April 9 against President Saakashvili.

Georgia's intelligence chief last week accused Russia of trying to destabilize the country ahead of the upcoming protests. Gela Bezhuashvili told lawmakers Friday that Russia's ultimate goal is to destabilize Georgia and remove its current leaders.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.