Shevardnadze survives attack, bodyguard, assailant killed

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Attackers armed with a grenade launcher and machine guns ambushed President Eduard Shevardnadze’s motorcade Monday, opening a 10-minute battle that killed one attacker and one bodyguard. The president escaped unharmed, aides said.
The gunmen attacked about a half-mile from Shevardnadze’s residence in the capital, Tbilisi, as the Georgian leader’s four-car motorcade was returning home, presidential spokesman Vakhtang Maskhuliya said.
The slain bodyguard had been in Shevardnaze’s car, which was badly damaged by a rocket-propelled grenade, officials said.
Two other bodyguards were wounded in the shootout.
There was no claim of responsibility for the brutal attack, and authorities said they had yet to determine the motive. Shevardnadze said on state TV the dead attacker had not been identified, and there were no reports of any arrests.
The attack appeared to be the second assassination attempt in four years on Shevardnadze, who once served as a Soviet foreign minister before Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union.