Abkhaz Vice President Wounded in Attack
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Sep.'10 / 13:53

Vice President of breakaway Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, was injured after a grenade hit his house in Gudauta on September 23 in what appears to be at least fourth attack on Ankvab in last five years, officials in the breakaway region said.

Ankvab was wounded in his leg and hand after a grenade fired from RPG-26 launcher hit the roof of his two-storey house at about 2:15am local time, Apsnipress news agency reported quoting Ramin Gablaia, the deputy interior minister of Abkhazia.

His wounds are not life-threatening, officials in Sokhumi said.

Beslan Kvitsinia, a deputy chief prosecutor of the breakaway region, told Apsnipress, that “many details of assassination attempt indicate that the crime was commissioned and related to Ankvab’s professional activities.”

Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh, described the incident as “a terrible fact.”

“This is not the first attack on Ankvab. We will try to do our utmost to investigate the case,” Bagapsh said.

It is thought to be the fourth, and possibly the fifth, attempt on Ankvab's life in last five years.
 
In February 2005 a group of unknown gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying Ankvab, then PM, outside Sokhumi. His car was hit by 17 bullets, local television reported at the time. Ankvab, however, was riding in his deputy’s car and survived unharmed.
 
In April 2005, Ankvab again survived unharmed when unknown gunmen opened fire on his convoy near Sokhumi in which Ankvab’s driver was wounded.

A roadside land mine, found in June 2007 on a road between Sokhumi and Gudauta, a regular route of Ankvab’s convoy, was also believed to have been aimed at him.

In July, 2007 Ankvab, who at the time was the breakaway region’s PM, was reportedly slightly injured with shrapnel after his car came under grenade attack on a road between Gudauta and Sokhumi.

No one has ever been arrested for these attacks.

Alexander Ankvab, 57, an influential political figure in Abkhazia, was appointed as Prime Minister in February, 2005. A close ally of Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh, he became the Vice President after Bagapsh was re-elected as the president for second term in December, 2009.

He had wanted to run in the 2004 presidential election, but was ineligible because of an inability to speak the Abkhaz language and because he failed to meet residency requirements. He subsequently backed Bagapsh.

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