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Wanted Warlord Claims Responsibility for Kodori Shelling
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Nov.'06 / 13:04

Breakaway Abkhazia’s television stations broadcasted on November 1 a video message by Emzar Kvitsiani, a warlord wanted by the Georgian authorities, claiming responsibility for the October 25 shelling of Tbilisi-controlled upper Kodori Gorge.

“With this [shelling] I have simply given a notice about myself… It was a clash with the present fascist regime of Saakashvili, and we have warned them with a concrete act,” Emzar Kvitsiani, who claims to be hiding in upper Kodori Gorge, said in a video message.

This is the second video footage released by Kvitsiani. In September Kvitsiani threatened to launch partisan warfare in Kodori Gorge against Georgian governmental forces, warning locals in the gorge to evacuate women and children.

Three GRAD rockets hit the area near Azhara village in upper Kodori Gorge on October 25, while the Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili was there. None of the rockets exploded. The Georgian side blamed the Abkhaz side for the shelling.

But UN observers who investigated the impact sites said on November 1 that the rockets were not fired from the Abkhaz-controlled Tkvarcheli district, as Georgian officials claimed. The UN observers said that the rockets were most likely fired with an improvised launcher from a nearby ridge.

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