[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
In pictures: Ajaria's 'velvet revolution'
A demonstration in Ajaria's capital, Batumi
1 of 6
Thousands of people in the capital of Georgia's rebel region of Ajaria took to the streets, urging their leader, Aslan Abashidze, to resign and end a tense stand-off with Tbilisi.
Mr Abashidze's militiaman joins the supporters of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili
2 of 6
Ajaria's police joined the protestors, as Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili warned Mr Abashidze must quit to avoid bloodshed.
Rally in Batumi
3 of 6
The protests later turned into celebration as demonstrators perceived signs that the regime of the local strongman was crumbling, correspondents said.
A demonstrator carries Georgia's red-and-white Georgian flag during a protest rally in Batumi
4 of 6
Some even described the latest developments as Ajaria's own "velvet revolution" - similar to the events that led to the peaceful change of power in Georgia last year.
Armed local militias guard the office of Mr Abashidze in Batumi
5 of 6
The situation in Batumi was tense, as Mr Abashidze still had the support of private militias.
Ajarian militias guard a destroyed bridge linking the province with the rest of Georgia
6 of 6
Ajaria remains cut off from the rest of the country, after border bridges were blown up on Mr Abashidze's orders.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific