Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

  • Deadly shelling strikes Gaza UN school

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Scores trapped as landslide hits Indian village

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Europe launches last resupply ship to space station

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

Recent violent surge in Russian-Georgian conflict

Video by Philip CROWTHER , KARINA CHABOUR , Cédric MOLLE LAURENCON

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-26

Fresh wounds are slow to heal. A local mayor and a villager were killed in an explosion on Saturday near Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia. The blast occurred as police were investigating a separate grenade attack.

Two people were killed in an explosion near Georgia's rebel region of Abkhazia Saturday, highlighting continued tensions over the country's Russian-backed breakaway provinces.
   
A town mayor, Gia Meboniya, and a Georgian villager died in the blast, which occurred as police and officials were investigating a grenade attack on an empty home in the border village of Muzhava, Georgian interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili told AFP.
   
A police officer was also injured and was in stable condition.
   
Police suspected Abkhaz militants were behind the attack, he said.
   
Three grenades were fired at the home early Saturday and a remote-controlled bomb was set off a few hours later after officials arrived to investigate the attack, he said.
   
"This was clearly aimed at the police because they knew the police would go there to investigate," Utiashvili said.
   
The head of police in Abkhazia's Gali district, Lawrence Kogoniya, denied any attacks had taken place.
   
"Over the last 24 hours there have been no incidents or firing in settlements on the border with Georgia," he told Russia's Interfax news agency.
   
Tensions remain high around Abkhazia and another rebel Georgian region, South Ossetia, following a war in August between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.
   
Russian forces moved into Georgia on August 8 to repel a Georgian military attempt to retake the Moscow-backed rebel region. Under a European Union-brokered ceasefire, Russian forces later withdrew to within the two rebel regions, which Moscow recognised as independent states.
   
An EU mission is monitoring the ceasefire, patrolling around South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but Russia has not allowed them inside the rebel regions.
   
Tbilisi on Friday said Russian forces had blown up a railway bridge connecting Abkhazia with western Georgia in what it said was an attempt to isolate ethnic Georgians living in the rebel region.
   
Georgia had earlier accused Russia of deploying an additional 2,000 troops in South Ossetia, bringing the total number of Russian soldiers there to about 7,000. Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze denounced the alleged troop build-up as "a provocation aimed at maintaining instability in Georgia."
   
Russia denied that additional forces had been deployed and said it was sticking to plans to keep a total of about 7,600 soldiers in the two rebel regions.
   
Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgian control during wars in the early 1990s that killed thousands and forced tens of thousands from their homes.

Date created : 2008-10-26

COMMENT(S)