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At Least Three Killed In South Ossetia Clashes

President Saakashvili says he is trying to prevent major bloodshed (file photo) 12 August 2004 -- Georgian police say at least three people were killed and several were wounded overnight in shooting in the Georgian separatist region of South Ossetia.

Police said the dead, all on the Georgian side, were killed near the Georgian village of Eredri.

The independent television channel Rustavi-2, which carried similar information, reported that another person had been killed and several wounded when a mortar shell fell on a hospital in the Tamarasheni area on the Georgian side.

Earlier today, South Ossetia accused Georgian forces of shelling "several" villages in the separatist province, in the second consecutive day of fire in the area.

Late last night, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said he was doing everything possible to prevent a "large-scale conflict" with South Ossetia.

Saakashvili has vowed to gain control over the republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both of which seceded from Georgian central government control in the early 1990s.


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