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More Fighting Reported In South Ossetia


19 August 2004 -- Fresh fighting was reported overnight in South Ossetia between Georgian troops and separatist forces there.

A spokesperson for Georgia's Defense Ministry said today that six Georgian soldiers were killed and seven were wounded as separatists attacked their positions outside ethnic Georgian villages.

Georgia's Rustavi-2 television said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili discussed the crisis in South Ossetia with Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and parliamentary speaker Nino Burdjanadze in all-night talks in Tbilisi.

Saakashvili and other Georgian officials have called for an international conference to bring an end to instability in South Ossetia where ongoing fighting has undermined a cease-fire signed late last week.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia saw no need for such a forum. Russian President Vladimir Putin faulted the Georgians for the unrest, saying Tbilisi's decision after the breakup of the Soviet Union to end autonomy in South Ossetia and another separatist republic, Abkhazia, was to blame.

(AFP)

For the latest news on the tensions in South Ossetia, see RFE/RL's webpage on Ossetia and Georgia.
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