TBILISI, Nov. 14 — Five armoured vehicles, four trucks and three buses with soldiers in body armour were seen outside the Interior Ministry by Reuters correspondents on Friday.
The ministry is about two km (about one mile) from the parliament building where more than 10,000 Georgians were taking part in a mass opposition rally to call for President Eduard Shevardnadze to quit.
The ministry has said it would not use force against the crowd unless protesters tried to switch their action to government buildings. Troops at the scene declined to comment.
Thousands of Georgians ignored an emotional appeal by Shevardnadze on Friday to stay away from the mass opposition rally or face pushing the country of five million closer to ”civil war.”
At the rally, which was the biggest since a disputed November 2 parliamentary election sent hundreds into the streets, Georgia’s main opposition leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, called on the veteran leader to come and meet his people or step down from power.
The turmoil was triggered when the opposition said the goverment had stolen an election victory from them.