Special forces of the Georgian Ministry of Interior and police re-enforcements on Saturday (8 August) were rushed to the town of Akhalkalaki in the mainly Armenian speaking region of Samskhe Javakheti in the south of the country following rioting which resulted in the burning down of a hotel and several houses.
The incident appears to have erupted after a 27-year-old resident of Kulakam village was reported to have been murdered. About two dozen people subsequently set fire to the "Artsek" hotel in the center of the city, as well as four more houses. It was reported that one of the houses belonged to the owner of the hotel, and the others to his relatives. Georgian Deputy Minister of Interior, Vladimer Bortsvadze, told journalists on Sunday morning (9 August) that "the situation in Akhalkalaki is stable, maximum police forces are mobilized on the spot, and they take appropriate preventive measures to maintain public order and safety."
"In connection with the murder that took place in Akhalkalaki yesterday, one person has been arrested on the charge of premeditated murder and illegal purchase and storage of firearms. The post-murder controversy escalated into gang violence, resulting in damage to private property", he added.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Scene in Akhalkalaki on Saturday (8 August) Picture courtesy of news.am
Benyamin Poghosyan gives an Armenian perspective on the outcome of the present hostilities, exploring four possible scenarios.