Tbilisi — Reflections on a Carbomb at the Flower Market
I had just left the supermarket and was packing groceries into the car, everything seemed normal for central Tbilisi. Then suddenly I heard a huge rush of air sucking and an enormous ear-splitting explosion. The sound of breaking glass and shouting. In two minds as to what I should do I decided to go and see what had happened and if anyone needed first aid. I drew closer to the scene which was about 70 metres from where our car was parked.
I stepped over debris strewn from the blast, which was still a good 40 metres from the scene of the blast. My initial reaction was to think that this was an accident, that someone’s CNG gas tank in the back of their car had exploded. I passed a Number 20 bus that had the screen smashed, there followed two public transport minibuses in a bad state with an injured man on the floor between them. When I got to the car I realised that this hadn’t been a gas explosion at all, the force of the blast was so great that it had blown the back of the car off.
Already hundreds of curious people had gravitated to the scene to see what happened and I judged it better to get away so that emergency services could do their job. I passed Basis Bank which had had it’s windows blown out nearby the bumper of the car lay on the ground. Ambulances and Police cars rushed towards the scene, and what had felt like a safe place no longer felt quite so safe.
On viewing the damage and the trajectory of the debris it is a miracle that no-one died in this attack. 5 people were injured one of whom is in a critical condition, I would think that perhaps 50 people are heavily traumatised from the blast. The effects of this attack have rocked this small country with no shortage of politically motivated commentary and accusations across the political spectrum. If the idea of this attack was to destabilise the political process shortly before the election then surely that aim has been reached. It is to be hoped that voters will see that there can be no proper criminal investigation in the 3 days before the election and so it would be best to vote for who they intended to vote for before the attack.
In the aftermath it was revealed that the attack targeted the National Unity Movement MP Givi Targamadze, his party is that of the controversial former president Saakashvili who is currently in exile in Ukraine. It is difficult to ascertain what the motive for such a terrorist attack might be, there are a great many theories about this being put forward, which is rather pointless seen as only a proper forensic criminal investigation will bring about the evidence required to find the perpetrators. It would be a smart move by the Georgian authorities to call in international assistance from forensic investigative bodies because that would quell any suspicions that the investigations had in some way been politically influenced, which will doubtless surface.
It is sad to think that there are people prepared to put the lives of others at risk to further some obscure political agendas, Georgia is a young democracy but in the region it is the one country that has so far managed to hold what have been adjudged to be free and fair elections, lest we hope that Saturday October 8th sees this continue…
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