- EUMM: ‘circumstances of the incident remain unclear’
Tskhinvali released on Thursday four Georgian civilians, detained at the administrative border on May 18, and one civilian arrested in an earlier separate case, EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) said.
Two local Georgian villagers from the Sachkhere district were wounded in a shooting incident in the vicinity of the administrative border of breakaway South Ossetian early on May 18; four other young men, collecting food in the forest at the administrative border, were detained by the militias from the breakaway region.
Tbilisi said that the South Ossetian militias opened fire as they tried to detain villagers, but Tskhinvali said its border guards opened a response fire after being attacked by “unidentified persons”, who tried to foil their attempts to detain “illegal trespassers of the South Ossetian border.”
Officials from Tbilisi and Tskhinvali, as well as representatives of the Russian troops on the ground in the breakaway region, met at an ad hoc session of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the village of Dvani at the administrative border on May 19 to discuss the yesterday’s shooting incident. The meeting was called by the EUMM.
EUMM welcomed release of five Georgian civilians, including those four who were detained on May 18 and said that it “deplores the serious shooting incident” that took place on 18 May.
“Since the circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear, the EUMM will continue its efforts to gather as much information as possible about what happened. Depending on developments the Mission may call for further meetings in the coming days,” EUMM said in the statement released after IPRM meeting in Dvani.