Georgia clashes with Abkazia in border after EU releases report

19:04, October 01, 2009      

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Georgia clashed with its breakaway republic of Abkhazia in the border area on Wednesday night shortly after an EU report said Georgia started the war with Russia in last August, the Caucasus press news agency reported on Thursday.

Georgian border guards said Abkhazia launched the clashes by shooting at Georgian villages. The EU observer group and other international organizations in Georgia have been informed of the shooting event.

The Abkhaz authorities and Russian troops deployed in the region have so far given no comments on the shootout.

A report released by an international fact-finding mission on Wednesday said Georgia staged the military conflict in August 2008with Russia, but as a result of Russian provocation. The mission, based in Geneva, was backed by the European Union.

Abkhazia, along with another rebel Georgian region of South Ossetia, broke away from Tbilisi's rule during a war in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war last summer, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia to retake the renegade region bordering Russia. In response, Moscow sent in troops to drive Georgian forces out of the region.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states two weeks after the conflict ended.

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