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Progress Reported In Georgia-South Ossetia Talks

12 July 2004 -- Russian government envoy Lev Mironov has said Georgian and South Ossetian representatives, after negotiations yesterday, have agreed to refrain from any further provocative actions.

Mironov mediated the talks aimed at preventing tensions between the separatist leadership of South Ossetia and Georgia's central government from escalating into a full-fledged armed conflict.

Earlier yesterday, Georgian and South Ossetian authorities traded new accusations of violence in South Ossetia.

South Ossetian authorities said that a South Ossetian police station came under fire overnight from the direction of an ethnic Georgian village. On 10 July, three Georgian troops and a civilian were wounded when a village came under fire.

South Ossetia declared de facto independence from Georgia in 1992 and has expressed interest in joining Russia. Tbilisi is seeking to reassert central control over the territory.