Georgia President Fires Government

TBILISI, Georgia?Georgia plunged into political crisis Thursday as President Eduard Shevardnadze fired his government over a security scandal. The conflict threatened the fragile stability of this former Soviet republic on Russia’s southern border.

Thousands of protesters massed in Georgia’s capital, many demanding Shevardnadze’s resignation over burgeoning corruption and poverty.

The president, a former Soviet foreign minister, insisted he would stay in office.

The scandal began with an attempted security raid on the country’s leading independent television station.

It quickly took on larger proportions, bringing tensions which had boiled for months to the surface.