Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Suspect in Bush grenade incident detained


Suspect in Bush grenade incident detained

Wednesday, July 20, 2005; Posted: 4:43 p.m. EDT (20:43 GMT)

A man suspected of throwing a grenade is seen in an image released by the Interior Ministry.

(CNN) -- Police on Wednesday captured a man accused of throwing a live grenade in a crowd not far from where President Bush was speaking in May in Tbilisi, the capital of the Georgia Republic, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.

Although the grenade never exploded in Freedom Square, it could have, according to Georgian officials and an FBI agent. (Full story)

Initially, in the hours after the incident, Georgia officials insisted the device was an inert, Soviet-era training grenade that posed no threat to Bush or his audience.

The grenade was wrapped in a "dark tartan-colored cloth," a statement from the U.S. Embassy said in May.

"We consider this act to be a threat against the health and welfare of both the president of the United States and the president of Georgia as well as the multitude of Georgian people that had turned out at the event," the statement added.

Tens of thousands of people crowded into Tbilisi's main plaza -- Freedom Square -- to hear Bush on May 10. Parts of the stage on which he appeared were surrounded by bulletproof glass.

A reward of 20,000 laris ($10,978) was offered in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible, the embassy statement said.

CNN's Nastya Anashkina contributed to this report.



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