Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Georgia separatists say officer killed

AFP , MOSCOW

A Russian peacekeeper, center, speaks with French members of the the EU Monitoring Mission in Nakreti, some 10km from the Gori checkpoint, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

An officer with the separatist border guards of Georgia’s Abkhazia region has died in a shoot-out on the de facto Georgian border, the separatist administration’s news agency said yesterday.

The border guard “died from injuries received in the course of a shoot-out in the village of Nabakevi,” said the separatists’ news agency, Apsnypress, but without giving the time of the shooting.

The incident came amid tensions over a pull-back of Russian troops from buffer zones set up by Moscow around Georgia’s two rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian forces yesterday began dismantling a key checkpoint in the buffer zone around South Ossetia.

The checkpoint near the village of Karaleti is on a main road leading to the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali. It controls access to a cluster of Georgian villages south of the breakaway region.

Russian soldiers were also seen taking down tents and removing material from a checkpoint at Kvenatkotsa, which Georgian and EU officials had earlier said was expected to be dismantled yesterday.

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