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Georgian Police Officer Killed In Clash Near Abkhazia

(RFE/RL) January 5, 2007 -- A Georgian police officer was reported killed and another injured early today in a clash in western Georgia near the border with the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Georgian media reports said a group of men armed with automatic weapons and grenades attacked a police station along the Inguri River between the western Georgian town of Zugdidi and the town of Gali in Abkhazia.

Georgian authorities said the attack was carried out by Abkhaz special forces. Abkhaz separatist authorities denied this, saying the police officer was killed in a clash with a Georgian criminal gang.

This is the latest in a series of recent incidents along the border with Abkhazia, which de facto split from Georgia in the early 1990s but has not been recognized internationally.

(Rustavi 2, dpa, AFP)

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