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Reported incident in Georgia terrorist attack - ministry2008-10-25 16:00
A reported landmine explosion that killed the governor of Tsalendzhikha, a district bordering Abkhazia on Saturday, should be qualified as a terrorist attack, Georgia's Foreign Ministry said.gt-en-newsitem-inside
In explaining the death of governor Gia Mebonia, the ministry said European Union observers, Georgian police and members of the Tsalendzhikha administration went to the village of Muzhava in the district on Saturday, to investigate an alleged incident the day before in which fire was opened toward Muzhava from Abkhaz territory controlled by Russian armed forces.
"As the motorcade was approaching the site of the incident, two delay activation landmines exploded and fire was opened with grenade launchers," the ministry said in a statement.
"As a result, the head of administration of Tsalendzhikha district, Gia Mebonia, was killed," the document said.
"The EU observers remained unhurt," the statement added.
On Friday, about 200 Russian troops approached the village Khurvaleti in the Georgian district of Gori and that "it was only the intervention of members of the European Union mission that made it possible to defuse the situation," the statement said.
The ministry urged resolute international measures "to prevent a new wide-scale provocation against Georgia that is being planned by Russia."
Interfax has been unable to obtain comments on the statement from any Russian official so far.
Earlier, the police chief of the Abkhaz district of Gali denied that Abkhazia was responsible for the alleged attack on of Tsalendzhikha.
"There have been no incidents or armed attacks in the communities near the Georgian border over the past twenty-four hours," Lourens Kogonia told Interfax.
Kogonia said, however, that a villager had been injured by a landmine near his home in Muzhava. The police chief claimed it was unclear who had planted the mine.
The villager "had been gathering and selling nonferrous metal scrap and the incident most likely had to do with his activities," Kogonia said.
He named the villager as Otar Sabulua.