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One Detained Over Shooting at UNM Headquarters

Police detained one person for shooting at the largest opposition United National Movement party headquarters using a pneumatic weapon on March 17, the Interior Ministry reported today. The detainee has already pleaded guilty.

The perpetrator, shooting from a vehicle, damaged a banner depicting detained UNM chairman Nika Melia. Police said it seized from the detainee’s apartment a pneumatic pistol, firearm cartridges, as well as cannabis as evidence.

The Interior Ministry said the investigation was launched under Article 187, involving damage or destruction of property, and Article 236, involving Illegal purchase, storage, and carrying of firearms, envisaging imprisonment for a term of four to seven years.

The incident took place yesterday before the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition parties sat down to participate in the EU-mediated meeting. UNM’s Zaal Udumashvili claimed that the GD, while calling for dialogue and agreement, “organized and initiated” the attack on the opposition party headquarters. Ruling party chair Irakli Kobakhidze later denied this claim, arguing instead the UNM members are attacking their own office buildings to then blame the incidents on the GD.

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