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Pre-August aggravation?2009-07-30 17:23
It was not quiet on Georgian-Ossetian border last night. According to the sources from South Ossetia, Tskhinval came under fire from Georgia. Tbilisi as usual contradicts it asserting that the grenade launcher shells were fired from the South Ossetian side. Fortunately, no victims and casualties are reported. However this is not the first case of South Ossetia being shelled with large-caliber guns since August 2008.
"Around midnight unknown people brought fire to Tskhinval suburb from near-border village of Nikozi (Georgia)", - RIA Novosti quotes an unnamed source in the ministry of information and press of the republic. According to him both shots exploded in the air, and it took law-enforcement authorities some time to define whether these were mortar shells or grenade launcher shots. The information update revealed that RPG-7 grenade launchers were used. "The blast wave hit the windows in the houses in the southern part of the city", - the republic's Interior Ministry press service told Res IA.
Curiously enough in the morning Tbilisi reported on Nikozi village being fired from South Ossetia. According to Rustavi 2 a submachine gun, a machine gun and a grenade launcher were firing. There are no victims, but the Georgian side promised to transfer all relevant information to the EU monitoring mission in the Caucasus.
A flare-up on the Georgian-South Ossetian border was well expected. A week ago Russian Deputy FM Grigory Karasin told he had information that the Georgian leaders "are masterminding various events in the run-up to the August 2008 anniversary" on the border with South Ossetia, ITAR-TASS reports. "These are open provocations", - the Russian diplomat said.
Later the new republic's Defense Minister Yuri Tanaev informed about the rocket-launching artillery of Georgia starting for the positions along the boundary with South Ossetia, practicing its tasks and coming back. Besides, Tanaev adds, not far from Orchosan locality the Georgian troops have set up observation devices and recording apparatuses right on the border line. "There is no open evidence of preparations for aggression but there is reason to believe that some provocations are being prepared", - Regnum IA quoted.
Commander of the Russian Airborne Forces Vladimir Shamanov remarked recently that he wouldn't like to heighten tension but he did not exclude the possibility of provocations in the run-up to the first anniversary of the Russian-Georgian conflict, Vesti TV reports.