Georgian rebels seize minister

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The Independent Online
TBILISI (AP) - Militant supporters of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who was ousted as President of Georgia, took the republic's Interior Minister, Roman Gventsadze, hostage yesterday along with a group that included a top adviser of Eduard Shevardnadze, authorities said.

Mr Shevardnadze, the former Soviet foreign minister who now heads the ruling State Council, went on Georgian television late last night to report the events.

He warned that authorities were prepared to take 'extreme measures,' including the use of force, to win the release of Mr Gventsadze and the other hostages. David Salaridze, Mr Shevardnadze's adviser on national security, was among the hostages. 'We are beginning a struggle with enemies of the people,' Mr Shevardnadze said.

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