Shamba Slightly Injured in Car Accident
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 20 Aug.'11 / 21:53

Sergey Shamba, one of the candidates running for the August 26 Abkhaz presidential election, was slightly injured in a car accident on Saturday.

Shamba was treated for minor injuries in a hospital in the town of Gagra and released about after an hour.

The accident occurred at about 1:30 pm local time close to Gagra when Shamba was on his way to Bichvinta (Pitsunda) for a meeting with voters as part of his campaign.

Beslan Butba of Shamba’s campaign team, who was accompanying the candidate, told RFE/RL Russian language service, Ekho Kavkaza, about an hour after the the incident, that it was an accident, ruling out foul play.

He said a car from Shamba’s convoy collided with the one carrying the candidate and the latter’s car crashed into a roadside fence. Reports say that a security guard of Shamba was also slightly injured.

Later on Saturday Shamba's campaign team released a written statement with somewhat a different account in which there was no word of a car allegedly from the same escort. 

"An escort of Shamba was moving with 70 kph in direction of Pitsunda... According to the available information an accident situation was created by an oncoming vehicle, which resulted into a crash in which Shamba's car went into ditch," the statement reads, according to the Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress.

"We appeal to the general prosecutor's office and the interior ministry with a demand to fully investigate this accident," it says.

TV debates between the three candidates running for the president of the breakaway region, scheduled for Saturday evening, have been "canceled", according to Apsnipress.

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