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Sokhumi Closes Border
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Jul.'08 / 10:28

The authorities in breakaway Abkhazia closed the de facto border with Georgia on July 1, following four blasts in the region that injured twelve people.

Ruslan Kishmaria, the Abkhaz leader’s envoy in the Gali district on the administrative border, told the Russian news channel, Vesti, that all five border crossing points had been closed and security on the border tightened.

Officials in Tbilisi have said that the closure would pose hardship for thousands of ethnic Georgians in the breakaway region’s Gali district, preventing them from maintaining contact with neighboring Zugdidi on the Georgian side of the border.

“This is a provocative step, which will create problems for Georgians living in the Gali district,” Shota Utiashvili, the head of the Interior Ministry’s analytical department, said.

Abkhaz officials have failed to specify how long the measure would last. Sergey Shamba, the breakaway region’s foreign minister, said, the border might remain closed until the end of the tourist season.

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