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Georgia, South Ossetia Trade Accusations Over Shelling

21 September 2005 -- Georgia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia are trading accusations over shelling that occurred yesterday during ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the province's declaration of independence.

Eight people were injured in the attack in the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, including a 2-year-old who was seriously

A statement released by the South Ossetian separatist government says the shells were fired from the nearby ethnic Georgian village of Ergneti, an area not under the control of South Ossetian forces.

But Givi Targamadze, chairman of the Georgian parliament's defense and national security committee, called the shelling a "provocation" by South Ossetia.

The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Dimitrij Rupel, condemned the shelling and called for an urgent investigation.

Meanwhile, another separatist leader, Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh -- who is in South Ossetia for the celebrations
-- ordered his republic's forces on a heightened state of alert.


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