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Georgian, South Ossetian Forces Clash

8 July 2004 -- Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania has said that Georgian troops and South Ossetian forces clashed in South Ossetia today, wounding two Georgians.

Zhvania also said that one Georgian soldier was abducted. He said the clash happened between the villages of Kurti and Tamarasheni. He gave no other details.

Earlier today, a group of separatists disarmed and detained 30-40 Georgian peacekeepers in the village of Venati.

Georgia's conflicts minister, Georgi Khaindrava, vowed immediate action to free the peacekeepers.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Yakovenko said Russian peacekeepers in the region are trying to keep the situation under control.

"Moscow calls on the parties in the conflict to exercise maximum restraint and prevent actions that would violate legal norms and cause further complications in the situation," Yakovenko said.


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