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Abkhaz Leader Escapes Assassination Attempt

Abkhaz Leader Escapes Assassinationi
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February 22, 2012
The leader of the separatist Georgian region of Abkhazia has survived an assassination attempt.

Footage from RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus Service

The leader of the separatist Georgian region of Abkhazia has survived an assassination attempt.
Two of Aleksandr Ankvab's bodyguards, however, were killed and another bodyguard was reported seriously injured in the attack on the morning of February 22 in the Abkhaz town of Gudauta.  
Reports say attackers detonated a land mine as a motorcade carrying Ankvab drove by, then fired upon the motorcade with a grenade launcher and machine gun.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as Abkhazia is set to hold parliamentary elections next month.  
Stanislav Lakoba, secretary of the separatist National Security Council, told reporters that the search was under way to find those responsible for what he descibed as a terrorist act.

"At this moment, [police] are actively searching to find the perpetrators. The president is now at his workplace, doing his job," Lakoba said.
Abkhaz presidential spokesman Kristian Zhania said officials did not believe the assassination attempt had any connection with Georgian government authorities, who view the Abkhaz separatist administration as illegal.
Sixth Assassination Attempt

The spokesman said the attack was the sixth attempt on the 59-year-old president's life.
His car came under gunfire twice in 2005 and again in 2007 when he was prime minister of Abkhazia.  
He was wounded in September 2010 when his house was targeted by a grenade launcher. He was vice president at the time.  
Ankvab, who has vowed to fight corruption and crime in the separatist territory, was elected president in August last year after the death of previous leader Sergei Bagapsh.
The separatist administration is heavily dependent on aid from its main ally, the Russian government. Moscow provides nearly 70 percent of the separatist region's annual budget, and Abkhazia uses the Russian ruble as its currency.
Abkhazia has been recognized as an independent state by Russia and a few other countries -- but most of the international community regards it as still part of Georgia.
The Georgian authorities in Tbilisi say Abkhazia is completely dominated by Russia, and note that Moscow maintains Russian troops in the breakaway region.  
A leader of Georgian refugees from Abkhazia, Timur Mzhavia, told RFE/RL that Ankvab was well known for his "firm and uncompromised fight against corruption and therefore he certainly has numerous enemies" among some Abkhaz factions.
Ankvab worked in Georgia's law enforcement structures in Soviet times, and he was appointed Georgia's deputy interior minister at the age of 28. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, he joined Abkhaz separatist movements and took part in the Georgian-Abkhaz war in the 1990s.  
He later moved to Moscow before returning to Abkhazia and launching his political career in 2000.
With Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Reuters, and RIA Novosti reporting
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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous from: Apsua
February 22, 2012 07:38
Arabs do this ! They do not want happiness of Abkhaz people !

We are happy with Russians. Rus army is guarding our borders. Russian politics are directing our politics. Russians are coming here to make holiday, ( yes Russians killed our ancestors in the past , and now they are making holiday on the graves of them but... you know, time changed Abkhaz people and Rus people... it does not matter, Russia paid us...)

Georgians and Arabs co-operated to do this assasination attempt. Arabs want to sell us some camels, but Alexander was choose buy some Rus bears. Arabs are angry for this.
In Response

by: Abkhaz from: Apsua
February 27, 2012 15:29
It is obvious you are a phony name writing a silly comment. Grow up.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
February 22, 2012 08:53
For the beginning- an explanation
Abkhazia is the territory of Georgia. where thousands of innocent Georgians were killed by Abkhaz bandits and which illegally recognized by Mr. Putin.
Ankvab is a former Soviet police briber and the bandit..
In addition he is involved in the killing of innocent Georgians in 1993-94, and thus he is a war criminal..
Attempt on Ankvab -this war of abkhazian criminals for Russian money, clans fight against each other...
Abkhaz gunmen trying to kill another Abkhazian bandit..
Of course there is the guilt of Putin, when he recognized Abkhazian killers and looters..
By the way by the criminal laws of the Abkhaz-Putin is handicapped man,as in Abkhazia Russian affected in their rights.
In Response

by: Michael from: NY
February 27, 2012 15:32
No matter how much you anticipate new articles like this posted by RFERL so you can log on and write your lies, the truth is you are wrong. Abkhazia has issues but it's not your problem or concern. Concern yourself with matters that you should worry about- like how you are a Georgian living in Moscow (if that is really true), and how you are but one of millions of your people who voluntarily leave their "homeland" to go seek better lives elsewhere, even in your hated Russia. Think about the alarming rise of poverty, suicide, AIDS, teen pregnancies, human rights abuse, crime, etc. occurring in your country, and don't you worry about Abkhazia. They don't need nor want you. And do us a favor and stop demeaning yourself with these ridiculous and outright untruthful comments. Thanks.

by: Jack from: US
February 22, 2012 12:26
undoubtly that is a CIA operation via its "republic of Georgia" proxy regime. US government is the main sponsor of terrorism in the world
In Response

by: Mike from: US
February 22, 2012 19:14
Rather, undoubtedly it is the underground whom Ankvab is trying to strip power from. This would only benefit the Georgians if there was a Pro-Georgian to take Ankvab's place and there is not. Its not terribly hard to come across weapons in Abkhazia and its even less difficult to think of a stupid idea. Any group could be responsible for this but its dubious that its worth the time of any state, let alone Georgia.

Pray tell, what on earth would the CIA gain from this? If something happens in Russia the world looks at the CIA suspiciously, if something happens in the middle east than eyes glance at the Israeli secret service. Why the CIA and not Ukraine? Maybe its Turkey or just some crazy guys. Its not always an international conspiracy.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
February 23, 2012 00:41
What you say makes sense only if you assume US government is driven by some common sense and rationale. What is the rationale behind US government support for Wahhabi Muslim mobs in Kosovo and Bosnia? How did American people gain from US government support for Muslim terrorists in Kosovo and campaign of bombing and killing of Christians in Kosovo? What is the rationale behind US government support for most retarded and opressive regime on the planet - Saudi Arabia which sent 9/11 bombers to kill 3,000 Americans?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 25, 2012 16:46
Relentles Rashka Jack again!
The Russian proxy without same!
CIA would be him, if pseudo-assassinate
For Russia provocateurs to make "check-mate"
While killing me for real by "NLW" and "Lemurs",
Instead of Jacks that lying - leading USA to rack.

Terrorist is Russia, always was and always lied.

by: Ivan Zukov from: Russia
February 23, 2012 16:06
Abhazia is under Russian control, Ankvab needs to understand his position and sell the land the Russian businessmen want, they will invest in tourism and Abhazians and Russians will be better for it. Russian citizens will have a place to vacation, and Russia will protect Abhazia from Georgia and the NATO. Abhazia is free, Russian military bases that we build will make sure that there is no more trouble, and Ankvab also needs to return all property to Russian citizens so they can go back to live in Abhazia, Russia will make sure that all citizens rights are protected.
In Response

by: Rastislav from: front of the compute
February 24, 2012 13:28
Ivanushka - wow thats is a very brave speech - how about human rights of these 45 000 Mengrelians, Svans and other Georgians who still live in district Gali. How about rights and properties of those Georgians who fled after 1993 to Russia and became Russian citizens. Do you think that Ankvab or any Abkhazian will agree to return their land and homes in Abkhazia??? No way.

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