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Ousted Georgian Leader Returns, Calls for Uprising

January 17, 1992|Associated Press

MOSCOW — Ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia defiantly returned to his homeland Thursday and urged supporters to rise up in war against the men who chased him from the capital.

A leader of the Military Council that has ruled since Gamsakhurdia fled on Jan. 6 said the council has dispatched troops from Tbilisi to crush Gamsakhurdia's forces.

The troops' destination was not immediately known. Zugdidi, the city where Gamsakhurdia surfaced, is about 150 miles northwest of Tbilisi.

Gamsakhurdia, elected by a landslide last year in Georgia's first free presidential vote, enjoys considerable support outside Tbilisi.

Before dawn Thursday, Gamsakhurdia flew to Sukhumi, a Georgian port on the Black Sea, then went by bus to Zugdidi, where he spoke to supporters at a rally, according to Tengiz Kitovani, a leading member of the Military Council.

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