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Protesters Attack Georgian KGB Headquarters

September 18, 1990

MOSCOW (AP) _ Nationalist protesters attacked KGB headquarters in the capital of the republic of Georgia, smashing windows and hurling documents into the street, Soviet news agencies and newspapers reported today.

The attack early Monday in the city of Tbilisi followed a demonstration by members of the ″Round Table,″ who declared the formation of a ″Free Georgia″ bloc of political parties for elections next month, the Tass news agency reported.

The demonstrators demanded the release of activist David Gelashvili, who was arrested on charges of illegally storing firearms and attacking a police station, according to Tass and the independent Postfactum news agency. Gelashvili later was freed on bail on Monday, Postfactum reported.

According to the newspaper Red Star, marchers stormed the first and second floors of the KGB headquarters. They ransacked offices of the secret police’s investigation department, broke windows, threw documents in the street and stole some papers, the newspaper said.

Postfactum reported that some firearms were stolen.

No arrests were reported. According to Red Star, the local police decided not to interfere in the demonstration.

The Sunday evening rally was addressed by Zviyad Gamsakhurdia, who leads the ″Round Table,″ Red Star reported.

The group’s platform urges outlawing Soviet power in Georgia, proclaiming the republic’s independence, and preventing Communist Party members from being elected to parliament, the newspaper said.

Nationalists also want the KGB disbanded in Georgia, Postfactum reported, and it quoted Gamsakhurdia as saying demonstrations against the secret police will continue in the republic.

On Oct. 28, Georgia will hold multiparty elections that were postponed in June to give parties time to organize against the ruling Communists.

Pro-independence groups have done well in local elections this year elsewhere in the Soviet Union.

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