The Georgian side opened fire on the South Ossetian villages of Andisi and Sarabuki early on July 29, Ibragim Gaseev, the South Ossetian deputy minister for defense and emergency situations, said.
“At approximately 5:00 a.m., Georgian peacekeepers opened fire, including with grenade launchers, from their illegal posts close to the village of Sarabuki. The shelling lasting for about an hour,” the South Ossetian Press and Information quoted Gaseev as saying. “At about 8:00 a.m. Georgian forces started shelling the village of Andisi. The fire was opened from the Georgian village of Sveri.”
He confirmed that no one was injured as a result of the shelling.
The Georgian side, however, has denied opening fire first, instead accusing South Ossetian militias of attacking its post on the strategic Sarabuki heights.
In a separate incident, the Russian command of the peacekeeping forces stationed in the conflict zone said that observers from the OSCE, accompanied by peacekeepers, came under fire believed to have come from the village of Sveri. No one was injured, the Russian peacekeepers’ command said.
A similar incident occurred on July 28 when South Ossetian militiamen prevented Russian peacekeepers and OSCE observers from monitoring the village of Cholibauri by firing several shots into the air, according to the Russian command of peacekeeping forces.