Saturday, September 09, 2006

Confused Fighting As Rebels Battle Georgian Forces

Four people are reported to have been killed in a skirmish between the Georgian police and separatists, in the breakaway region of South Ossetia. The battles that was reported to have taken place on friday at around 1100 (0800 GMT) was between Georgian and the South Ossetian police forces. Both claim that they came under attack whilst policing the region. The Georgian police claim to have one fatality and two injuries; the South Ossetian police claim that three of their number were killed by heavy small arms and mortar fire. Neither side claims responsibility for initiating the attack.

South Ossetia is currently under a tense stand-off between Georgian forces and the separatists. The rebels claim that South Ossetia should become a region of Russia. This has already created tense relations between Georgia and Russia itself. Georgia has accused Russia of funding the separatists, while Russia has boycotted certain Georgian goods.

It is also reported that Georgian forces opened fire on Tskhinvali, the regional capital of South Ossetai; South Ossetain forces return fire. There was apparently no injuries.


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