FBI says grenade found at Bush rally in Georgia was thrown, could have exploded

An agent for the U.S. FBI said Wednesday that a grenade found in the crowd during last week's speech by President George W. Bush in the Georgian capital was capable of exploding and had been thrown.

The statement by agent Brian Parmen contradicted initial reports by Georgian officials that the grenade either was not in condition to explode or that it was a so-called "engineering grenade" which would not be fatal except at extremely close range.

Parmen also said the grenade had been thrown and fell on a girl in the crowd. That was also at odds with statements by Georgian officials, who said it was not thrown.

Bush spoke to tens of thousands of people in Freedom Square, a main plaza in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, on May 10. The crowd response was overwhelmingly favorable and Bush spoke in strong support of Georgia's efforts at democratic development following the Rose Revolution of 2003.

No arrests have been made in the case and police have appealed to the public to offer photos and videotapes that may contain information on the perpetrator.


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