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Sokhumi Accuses Tbilisi of ‘Large-Scale Terrorism’

The Georgian authorities are conducting “large-scale terrorist activities” in Abkhazia, Sergey Bagapsh, the Abkhaz leader, said at a session of the breakaway region’s National Security Council on October 26.

At least one Abkhaz militiaman was injured in an attack in the village of Pichori in the Gali region late on October 25. The Abkhaz side claimed grenades were fired from the Georgian village of Ganmukhuri, on the other side of the administrative border.

Georgian television stations, however, had a different interpretation of what happened. They claimed that two Abkhaz militiamen were injured in a clash between “Russian soldiers and armed Abkhaz groups.” The reports suggested that the clash occurred after the Russian troops insisted the Abkhaz stop patrolling in the village. 

The incident came a day after a local Georgian governor was killed in a blast in the village of Muzhava on the Abkhaz administrative border. On October 22, Eduard Emin-Zade, the chief of the Abkhaz defense ministry’s intelligence unit, and two local residents in the Gali region were killed in the town of Gali. Two days later, a local Abkhaz official, Roman Ashuba, was shot dead in the village of Dikhazurga in the Gali region.

“Official Tbilisi has launched large-scale terrorist activities on Abkhaz territory and developments of recent days in the Gali region confirm this,” the Abkhaz official news agency, Apsnipress, reported, quoting Bagapsh. “The murder of four Abkhaz citizens – civilians and law enforcement officers among them – was carried out by Georgian terrorists who had infiltrated into Abkhazia from Georgia.”
He instructed law enforcement agencies “to give an adequate response to all Georgian provocations, using all the means at their disposal.”

“Recent developments are nothing but a Georgian attempt to seize the Gali region,” Bagapsh added.

Apsnipress also reported that a special agency would be set up “to uncover and destroy Georgian terrorists, who infiltrate Abkhaz territory.” Anatoly Zaitsev, the chief of staff of the breakaway region’s armed forces, and Nugzar Samsonia, the deputy head of the security services, have been tasked to head up the unit.

Bagapsh, speaking at the NSC session, also accused the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) of “bias.”

“They improperly assess the actions of the Georgian authorities, which have turned terrorism into state policy,” Bagapsh said.
The accusation against the EUMM follows similar ones made by Russian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian officials. The EUMM is deployed in the areas adjacent to the breakaway regions.

Hansjorg Haber, the mission’s head, said on October 24 that EU monitors should have access to South Ossetia and Abkhazia in order to verify allegations of Georgian aggression against the two regions.

"We ask, we knock at the door and we think that the Abkhaz and South Ossetian de facto authorities may have their own interest in admitting us if they want alleged shootings from the Georgian side to be investigated and reported on," the German diplomat said.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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