World leaders have called on the government of Georgia, and thousands of protesters involved in political turmoil in the capital Tbilisi, to try to find a peaceful way out of the crisis.

A spokesman for the Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze has threatened to hand over control to the army, if parliament fails to approve his declaration of a state of emergency within the next two days.

Mr Shevardnadze ordered the emergency rule after opposition protestors stormed the parliament building earlier today.

Around 3,000 protestors have gathered outside one of Georgia's television stations, in response to rumours that armed men were going to try to shut it down.

Meanwhile, the government controlled station is said to be back on air; transmission stopped, hours after the state of emergency was declared following the staging of a so called 'velvet revolution' in the capital, Tbilisi.

The main opposition leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, said they'd achieved a bloodless coup

The president, Eduard Shevardnadze, declared a state of emergency after opposition protestors entered the parliament and named one of their leaders as interim head of state.

President Shevardnaze was addressing deputies when the protestors broke down the door and swarmed into the building. He was taken out of the chamber by his bodyguards.

This follows weeks of protests in the capital, Tbilisi, over disputed elections. Mr Schevardnadze has condemned this afternoon's events as an 'armed coup'.