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Fire Damages Historic Russian School In Abkhazia

The cause of the fire remains unknown.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Fire has seriously damaged a historic Russian school in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia -- the century-old Aleksandr Pushkin School in the regional capital of Sukhumi.

Mizan Lomia, who heads the Emergency Situations Ministry in Abkhazia's separatist-controlled de facto government, said the fire broke out during the early morning hours of May 2.

Lomia said the blaze destroyed the roof of the secondary school, which teaches all of its courses in the Russian language.

He said the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Authorities in Sukhumi say the fire was brought under control after several hours by 12 fire-engine teams deployed to fight the blaze -- a total of about 130 firefighters.

No casualties were reported.

Abkhazia's de facto President Raul Khajimba and Culture Minister Adgur Kakoba visited the site early on May 2.

The Russia-backed separatist region of Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s amid a conflict between separatists and Georgian government forces.

After the five-day Georgia-Russia war in August 2008, Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and another breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia.

Georgia and the overwhelming majority of the international community consider both regions as territories that are occupied by Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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