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    Georgia arrests 2 senior commanders over coup plot - 2

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    (Adds rank of commanders, dismissal, investigators quote in paras 2,3)

    TBILISI, May 11 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia has detained the commanders of the 1st and 3rd infantry brigades over the mutiny at the Mukhrovani military base last week, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.

    Majors David Sulkhanishvili and Kakha Kobaidze are suspected of failing to share information that a mutiny was being planned, a top Defense Ministry investigator said, adding that they have been relieved of their posts.

    "They knew about the organization of the mutiny on May 5 and about its organizers, but said nothing to either a direct superior or representatives of law enforcement bodies," Gaga Kirkitadze told journalists. "By this they made possible the execution of an especially serious crime."

    The Georgian government said on May 5 that an armored infantry battalion at the Mukhrovani military base had mutinied as part of a plot to stage a nationwide coup and assassinate the president.

    Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili denied on Monday claiming he had verified information that Russian secret services were behind a recent mutiny by a Georgian tank unit.

    "I never said that we have precise information," Saakashvili said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

    The president on May 5 accused Russia of conspiring with former Georgian military officials to stage the rebellion.

    The Interior Ministry said on May 5 that the rebellion at the base, 20 km from Tbilisi, was backed by Russia, as part of a plot to overthrow the Georgian leadership. Moscow denied the claims.

    According to the ministry, 13 civilians were arrested and some 500 military personnel were questioned in connection with the mutiny.

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