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Russian Delegation Said To Have Come Under Georgian Fire

Tensions have risen in Georgia's South Ossetia (file photo) 4 August 2004 -- South Ossetian authorities today accused Georgian forces of firing on a Russian delegation amid rising tensions in the country's two breakaway regions.

A South Ossetian spokesman said Georgian troops fired on a car carrying Andrei Kokoshin, the head of a Russian parliamentary committee on CIS affairs. No one was injured in the incident, which occurred near South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali.

ITAR-TASS quoted Kokoshin as calling the attack a "serious provocation."

Georgian Deputy Minister for State Security Gigi Ugulava said the first shots in the incident were fired by the Ossetian side.

Meanwhile, Russia reacted angrily today to a threat by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to fire on ships that violate Georgia's territorial waters. Saakashvili said the warning was mainly meant for Russian tourists traveling to Abkhazia from nearby Sochi.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said any threat to Russian citizens will trigger an "appropriate response."


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