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Policeman Killed in Shootout at Abkhaz Border
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Nov.'08 / 19:41

A Georgian policeman was killed in a shootout with the Abkhaz militias, both the Georgian and Abkhaz sources reported.

The Georgian Interior Ministry (MIA) said that the incident occurred in the Tsalenjikha district at 2:15pm on November 15, when the Georgian policemen were on a routine patrol close to the village of Pakhulani on the Georgian side of the Abkhaz administrative border.

MIA said in a statement that the police patrol was attacked by the Abkhaz militias, which, it said, was placing land mines in the area. “They [the Abkhaz militias] left mines before escaping from the scene,” the Ministry’s statement said.

The Abkhaz side, however, gave different account of events.

Ruslan Kishmaria, an Abkhaz senior official in the Gali district of the breakaway region, told the Russian Interfax news agency, that the incident occurred when a group of “Georgian saboteurs” tried to infiltrate into the Gali district. 

“A clash occurred between the Abkhaz border guards and Georgian saboteurs in the upper part of the Gali district of Abkhazia today. According to the preliminary information, one saboteur was killed, while two others were injured,” he said.

He also said that after the clash “the Georgian saboteurs” retreated. No victims were reported from the Abkhaz side.

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