Belarus KGB head said opposition and the USA together with Georgia prepare a coup in the country

As the Belarus elections getting closer, local secret police intensifies its activities against the opposition. Belarus secret services said Thursday they had evidence of a plot to overthrow the current regime by force during presidential elections scheduled for Sunday. "We are in no way interfering with the rights of candidates, but we are obliged to state that an attempt to take power by force is being prepared in the country under cover of the elections", KGB head Stepan Suharenko told a Minsk press conference ahead of the March 19 polls. "Preparations are underway not for peaceful protests but for violent actions including the use of explosives and arson with the aim of sowing confusion", he said today. According to Suharenko, the conspiracy is being funded from abroad. "Some individuals are infiltrating the country disguised as tourists and staying in safe houses", he noted. Suharenko said he had evidence that the United States and Georgia were backing efforts to overthrow the country's current regime by force in Sunday's presidential elections. Stepan Suharenko showed a press conference in the Belarus capital, Minsk, a video of an interview with a man he said was one of those involved in the plot. The man said he had been at a training camp in Georgia at which training was provided by "four Arabs [and] officers of the former Soviet army".

The official also said a colonel from the Georgian security services and American instructors had conducted examinations, and that the Americans had told them to bomb four polling stations at schools in Minsk during voting Sunday. "The Americans told us to organize four explosions at schools. The place and time [of the attacks] were to be told [to us] later. Concrete locations were not indicated", the man said. Sukharenko also showed video footage he said was of Georgian nationals confessing that they were to deliver money and "everything necessary" to create disturbances on March 19. He said it was possible other attacks were being organized. "We know maybe only a part of what was being prepared", he said. Suharenko said all attempts to destabilize the country in the run-up to Sunday's elections would be seen as terrorism. "Anyone who will take to the streets in a bid to destabilize the situation will face terrorism charges", he warned. Under Article 290 of the country's Penal Code, acts of terrorism are punishable by prison terms of 8 years to life, or by the death penalty. Two days ago Belarus police have found a cache containing a large amount of ammunition in a wooded area in the Brest region. The cache contained 53 antitank mines, 150 personnel mines, and 65 detonators said. "All the mines and detonators are modern. An investigation has been launched to find out where the weapons were stolen from, and measures have been taken to arrest the suspects", police said. The KGB started its own investigation, seeking connections between the oppositional movements to this weapon's cache and to the US humanitarian aid load, detained by the Belarus frontier guards and secret services in the Vitebsk area. The load contains sleeping bags, coats, tents and other previously used military equipment worth $182 thousand. It is claimed that the load was supposed to reach the activists of Aleksander Milinkevich. The opposition denies these claims, noting that the local KGB seeks how to discredit Lukashenko's opponents. Anatoly Lebedko, a top official in the campaign of Alexander Milinkevich, the main opposition candidate, said that the Belarus KGB's allegations are absurd and represent a preparation for repressions, which will follow the elections. "This is the agony of the people who want to stay at power using brutal force. We have a long history of nonviolent protest and people will not be fooled by these allegations", he said. Yesterday Lebedko was detained outside his office by the police and KGB agents and accused of "resisting police and swearing". Georgian official sources also claimed that the allegations are baseless.

Also it is reported that the Belarus KGB agents escorted the two Swedish election observers taken into custody by Belarus police on Tuesday out of the country on Wednesday. The two, who are members of the Swedish Liberal Party, were accused of breaking a law against conducting opinion polls. They were in the former Soviet republic to monitor this Sunday's presidential elections, Swedish Radio reported. Six Danish election observers were also taken into custody Tuesday and ordered by the KGB to leave Belarus. Three members of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observer team were denied entry to Belarus, an OSCE spokeswoman said.