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Authorities in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia say a former interior minister has killed himself after being accused of masterminding an assassination attempt on the region's leader.

The region's Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement that Almasbei Kchach shot himself on April 17 after security officers tried to detain him at his apartment in the separatist capital, Sukhumi.

The office said Kchach masterminded a blast and a shooting that nearly killed Abkhaz President Aleksandr Ankvab in February and took the lives of two bodyguards.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in a war in the early 1990s.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and another separatist region, South Ossetia, as independent states after its brief war with Georgia in August 2008.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and AP