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Four Die in Gali Blast
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Jul.'08 / 16:03

Four people, including the local security chief, died and at least six others were injured as a result of an explosion that rocked a cafe in the town of Gali late on July 6.

The blast happened in the cafe at about 11pm local time. The Gali district is on the administrative border and is predominately populated by ethnic Georgians.

Jansukh Muratia, the acting chief of the Gali department of the Abkhaz security service; Sukhran Gumba, an employee of the border department of the Abkhaz security service; Anzor Lagvilava, an interpreter of the UN Mission in the Gali district, and Iveta Toria, a local resident, died in the explosion, according to the Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress.

Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh has blamed the Georgian side, saying that Georgia “has chosen the way of state terrorism.”

“The Gali explosion is a terrorist act aimed at destabilizing the situation in the region. This explosion is a continuation of a chain of terrorist acts, which occurred in Gagra and Sokhumi,” Bagapsh told Interfax news agency on July 7.

Chief of the Abkhaz security service Yuri Ashuba also said it was a terrorist act masterminded by the Georgian side against Abkhaz law enforcement officers.

At least twelve people were injured as a result of four explosions in Gagra and Sokhumi on June 29 and June 30, respectively.

Officials in Tbilisi have denied having any involvement in the explosions, saying the accusation was “absurd,” and have suggested that the blast in Gali, as well as those in Gagra and Sokhumi, were part of a power struggle between various Abkhaz criminal groups and shadowy businesses.

The Abkhaz leader summoned an emergency session of the breakaway region’s National Security Council after the Gali blast.

Afterwards, Sergey Shamba, the foreign minister of the breakaway region, said it was “pointless” to resume talks with the authorities in Tbilisi, which he accused of pursuing policy of state terrorism, Apsnipress reported.

The Foreign Ministry of the breakaway region also issued a statement calling on the international community to take “appropriate measures to prevent the threat of terrorism coming from Georgia.”

“Ignoring this type of provocation may lead to an irreversible escalation in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict,” the statement reads.

It has also complained about, what it called, “biased assessments” made by the international community on developments in the region.

The international community, it continued, “is turning a blind eye to an obvious violation of human rights in Georgia and a policy of terror against Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

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