Georgia’s State Security Ministry has identified a small group of Zviadist gunmen as responsible for the April 5 attack, which killed five and wounded seven during the funeral of Zviadist chieftain Gocha Esebua in Zugdidi. (See Monitor, April 6) Three of those killed and two of the wounded were members of Esebua’s armed group that seized four UN military observers near Zugdidi in February. Eleven members of that group, including these five, surrendered to the authorities in return for judicial immunity. Their former accomplices resurfaced at the funeral to gun down the "traitors." Zviadist underground activist Gia Meskhia led the attack.
Meskhia and several associates are wanted as suspects in the February assassination attempt against President Eduard Shevardnadze. The President commented that the assault on the mourners demonstrates a split among the "radical" supporters of the late president Zviad Gamsakhurdia. The area remains calm. Zugdidi is the focal point of the authorities’ policy of reconciliation with law-abiding Zviadists. (Kavkazia-Press, Radio Tbilisi, April 6; RTR, Russian agencies, April 7)
Kazakhstani Red Activist Sentenced.