Officials: suspect of throwing grenade at Bush not linked to Russian military

Despite widely spread talks, mostly initiated by Georgian officials earlier, Russian military officials in Georgia said that man arrested on suspicion of throwing a grenade toward U.S. President George W. Bush during a May rally in Georgia has no connection with Russian forces

Suspicions that the man might have links to Russian forces in the country followed reports that Russian military uniforms were found in his home after he was arrested during a shootout with police on Wednesday. One Georgian policeman was killed and the suspect was wounded in the shooting.

It is noteworthy, that Georgian authorities accused Russian military of being involved in the "grenade incident" yet late June.

"I confirm categorically that he never served in our structures," Col. Vladimir Kuparadze, deputy commander of Russia's forces in Georgia, was quoted as saying by the AP. "As to the Russian military uniforms, getting those in Georgia doesn't present any difficulty."

Russia has troops at two military bases in Georgia and their withdrawal, now scheduled for 2008, had been a tense issue. Georgia and Russia agreed in June on a withdrawal date.

Officials say the suspect, Vladimir Arutyunian, 27, has admitted to doctors that he threw the grenade that landed near a podium where Bush was speaking in the Georgian capital in May. The grenade malfunctioned and did not explode.

Both Bush and Saakashvili were on the podium in downtown Tbilisi when the grenade was thrown and landed about 30 meters (100 feet) away.

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