Explosions and gunfire were heard in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, as counterterrorism units stormed a multi-storey apartment bulding on the outskirts of the city, witnesses reported.

Georgia’s state security service said that suspects holed up in the block opened fire on the troops that were conducting a large-scale operation in the area.

The operation started at 5am local time on Wednesday, witnesses said.

Residents of the area said the suspects were foreign nationals who had been living in the building for two years. The apartment block has been partially evacuated.

At least one officer was treated for gunshot wounds, Rustavi-2 television station reported.

About 100 policemen and firefighters were mobilised at the scene, witnesses said.

The Georgian government is holding an emergency security meeting, and have yet to comment on the situation.

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