Gunmen wound Georgian opposition leader Petriashvili: ministry

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 26, 2016 8:21 AM

TBILISI (Reuters) - Gunmen shot and wounded Alexy Petriashvili, a former state minister who is a leader of Georgia's Free Democrats opposition party, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Attacks by gunmen are rare in Georgia, although several opposition politicians have been beaten in previous years. The country will hold parliamentary elections in October.

Petriashvili, former state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, was wounded in both his legs and is undergoing surgery in hospital, fellow Free Democrats lawmaker Nino Goguadze told journalists.

"Unknown persons physically insulted and inflicted gunshot wounds on Alexy Petriashvili," the ministry said in a statement, adding that it was not immediately clear what motivated the attack.

Petriashvili and foreign minister Maya Panjikidze resigned their posts in November 2014 in protest over the dismissal of the former Soviet republic's pro-Western defence minister and Free Democrats leader Irakly Alasania.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Jack Stubbs and Dominic Evans)