Mon, Jul 12, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Clashes in Georgia raise fears of war with Russia

AP , TBILISI, GEORGIA

Tensions spiraled over the separatist region of South Ossetia after Georgia said four people were wounded in a South Ossetian attack and the Georgian president warned that escalated fighting could bring a war with Russia.

"If conflict flares up in South Ossetia, it won't be an internal conflict in Georgia, it will be a conflict between Georgia and Russia," said Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Some 80 percent of South Ossetia's residents hold Russian passports and Saakashvili's vow to regain control of the region, de-facto independent since 1992, has strained relations between Georgia and its huge neighbor.

South Ossetian forces this week seized and disarmed 38 Georgian soldiers, but released all but three a day later. Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian forces all have peacekeeping contingents in the region. On Saturday, three Georgian Interior Ministry servicemen and a civilian were wounded by grenade and automatic weapons firing in the village of Ardvisi, near South Ossetia, said a police official of the Georgian region that includes Ardvisi.

South Ossetia on Friday said one of its policemen was wounded in an attack by unknown assailants.

This story has been viewed 2904 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top