Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Conflicting reports about shot-down planes

Latest update : 2008-05-05

Russian-backed rebels claim to have shot down two Georgian spy drones over the breakaway province of Abkhazia. Georgian authorities say there have not been any flights in the area. (Story: C.Moore)

SUKHUMI - Separatists in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region said on Sunday they had shot down two unmanned Georgian spy drones over the territory they control, but Georgia denied there had been any flights in the area.

The Black Sea region of Abkhazia is the focus of mounting tension between Russia, which backs the separatists, and Georgia's pro-Western leadership. Western diplomats warn tensions could spill over into large-scale conflict.

"Two Georgian spy drones were shot down by Abkhaz air defence forces at around 1600 local time (1200 GMT) today," separatist foreign minister Sergei Shamba told Reuters by telephone.

"The drone flights are a demonstration of Georgia's aggressive intentions towards Abkhazia," he said.

A senior Georgian Interior Ministry official said there had been no flights by Georgian drones in the area on Sunday.

"There were no flights by Georgian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) today over Abkhazia and this information is not true," said Shota Utiashvili, head of the Interior Ministry's analytical department, when asked about the Abkhaz report.

The shooting down of a Georgian drone last month over Abkhazia sparked a bitter row between Russia and Georgia.

Georgia accused Russia of shooting down the drone and said Moscow was seeking to annex Abkhazia. Russia denied its forces were responsible and said Georgian drone flights over the region breached United Nations rules.

Russia last week sent extra peacekeeping troops to Abkhazia to counter what it called preparations by Tbilisi for a military attack. Western states said the deployment risked stoking tensions and Tbilisi denied it had any plans for an attack.

Russia's ties with Georgia have been strained for more than a decade, in part by Moscow's support for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway regions that threw off Georgian rule in wars in the 1990s.
 

Date created : 2008-05-04

COMMENT(S)