The prime minister of breakaway Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, was the target of a remote-control bomb, Fugas, a group of Abkhaz academics and intellectuals, alleged in a statement on June 27.
A landmine went off in the early hours of June 20 near Novy Aphon to the west of Sokhumi after it was hit by thunder. No one was injured as the remote-control bomb went off unexpectedly. Interior Minister Otar Khatsia, however, said that it had been “an assassination attempt.”
The statement signed by 27 leading Abkhaz authors, writers, journalists and academics alleged, despite an ongoing investigation, “that the blast was aimed at the current Abkhaz authorities and in particular Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab.”
In February 2005 Ankvab survived an assassination attempt, when a group of unknown gunmen opened fire on his convoy outside Sokhumi. “Criminal elements” were blamed for the attack. No one was arrested.
“It is clear that those behind these attacks act against the interests of the Abkhaz people. It is not only immoral, but also dangerous to keep silent in a situation wherein everyone knows about the plot,” the statement reads.
“It is impossible to build a civilized state, if this kind of method is used against opponents.”
On June 20, Abkhaz Interior Minister Khatsia said that investigators were working on several leads. Georgian-masterminded sabotage operations on the eve of the tourism season in Abkhazia were considered to be one distinct possibility.