|AFP Photo / Genia Savilov July 8, 2008, 1:25
Abkhazia calls on the world to stop ‘Georgian terror’
Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia has called on the G8 countries, the UN and the OSCE to stop what it describes as a ‘terror threat from Georgia’ following a series of blasts in the region. Sukhumi has also announced it is cutting all contact with Tbilisi.
After holding an urgent Security Council meeting, Abkhazian leaders issued a statement, which blames Georgia for supporting terrorist attacks on the region.
Late on Sunday, a blast in Abkhazia killed four people and injured six. Those killed include a United Nations translator. The explosion took place at around 11 pm local time in a cafeteria in the town of Gali, close to the internal border with Georgia.
A criminal case has been launched. Investigators say they don't know who did it, but there's no doubt that the explosion was deliberately triggered.
Earlier, on June 29 and 30, a series of blasts in residential areas of the Abkhazian capital of Sukhumi and the town of Gagra injured 12 people. Following the incidents, Abkhazia closed all border check-points and blamed Tbilisi for organising the attacks.
Now Abkhazian authorities say that the chain of bombings was planned and carried out by Georgian spies.
"The blast was actually directed exactly against the servicemen of Abkhaz police and security in the region. We have all objective proofs that it was done by Georgia," said Maksim Gvindzhia, Abkhazia's Deputy Foreign Minister.
Georgia, however, denies all allegations of the involvement.
Antti Turunen, OSCE representative in Abkhazia said they are worried about the violence in the region.
“It should be stopped. It’s time for dialogue now,” he said.
Tensions in Abkhazia have been growing since Georgia increased its military presence at the border with the breakaway republic. Russian peacekeepers stationed in Abkhazia under a UN mandate also sent additional manpower fearing Tbilisi may have plans to invade the region.
Such plans do exist, according to Abkhazian president Sergey Bagapsh, who says that this NATO-style map, acquired by intelligence officers, shows Georgia's special operation in detail. But the invasion did not happen.
Recently Russia lifted all sanctions against Abkhazia, including economic and political ones. Thousands of Russian tourists returned to the republic's Black Sea resorts. But in the middle of the high season, a series of bomb blasts in highly populated residential and tourist areas has scared many people away.
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