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New shooting on the Georgian-Abkhazian border2009-01-06 17:05
Georgia's Interior Ministry reported that on the morning of January 4 the police checkpoint in Ganmukhuri village close to the border with Abkhazia was attacked from the Abkhazian side. The exchange of fire lasted 15 minutes. No one was injured.
According to day.az with reference to Georgia's Interior Ministry the grenade launcher and submachine gun shooting was brought from Pichori village in Galsky district. And "Svoboda" radio adds that the population was urgently evacuated from the village. Georgia considers the shots to be preparation for the offensive. "There are only Russian servicemen in Pichori village armed with grenade launchers and trench mortars. It is supposed that the Russians were shooting", - day.az quotes an unnamed information source in Galsky district.
It looks like all Georgian mass media stuck to this message. Turning a blind eye to the word "supposed" by midday "Rustavi 2" channel was trumpeting about the "occupants' new crime".
And in the evening there came a new statement from Georgia's Interior Ministry: "Russia and its puppet regimes are carrying out impudent assaults in the territories adjacent to Abkhazia and Tskhinval region. They are intended to provoke Georgia and aggravate the situation in the region. We are dealing with a chain of criminal actions resulting in 10 persons dead, dozens of Georgian policemen injured and many peaceful residents harmed in the areas close to Georgia's occupied territories. The international community is aware that the source of threat in Georgia's occupied territories is Russia and its armed forces".
Sukhum has a different point of view: neither Russians nor Abkhazians are involved in the shooting accident.
"By all appearances it was a shootout in the territory of Georgia, - Abkhazia's ambassador to Galsky district Ruslan Kishmaria stated to Interfax on January 4. - We registered the fact of shooting in Gumukhuri village of Georgia. Most probably this is either a criminal shootout or a fight between Georgian law-enforcement agencies and Georgian criminal structures".
And in conclusion he emphasized again that there hadn't been and could never have been any shooting from Abkhazia.
A few hours later Abkhazia's Defense Minister Zakan Nanba made his own comment. As he says there is information that Georgia is secretly pulling in additional units and military equipment to the Abkhazian border.
"Exchange of fire was staged by Georgia in order to justify the redeployment of additional forces in near-border areas", - the minister is quoted by Interfax.