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What You Should Know / March 15, 2010

GEORGIA-OSSETIA/

www.themoscowtimes.com -- Thousands of Georgians — including President Mikheil Saakashvili's grandmother — panicked Saturday night when a pro-government television station aired a hoax that Saakashvili had been killed and Russians tanks had invaded their country at the request of opposition parties. Cell phone networks crashed, and long lines of worried people formed at gas stations and bank machines. But by Sunday afternoon, the fear had given way to anger, and opposition supporters rallied in central Tbilisi to accuse Saakashvili of pulling off the hoax in an attempt to discredit the opposition. Saakashvili described the fake report as “unpleasant" but “close to the real thing.” "It was really an unpleasant film, but more unpleasant is the fact that report was maximally close to what could happen or what the enemy of Georgia has in mind,” Saakashvili said at a meeting with locals in one of the country's provinces, RIA-Novosti reported.

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