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Russia urges Georgia, South Ossetia to show restraint

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MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) -- Russia deeply regrets the shelling of Tskhinvali and urges Georgia and South Ossetia to show restraint and continue search for a constructive, peaceful resolution of the conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said Wednesday.

"It is indicative that the shelling occurred during ceremonies marking a national holiday [the 15th anniversary of the province's declaration of independence]," Kamynin said.

Four mortar shells were fired minutes after 7 p.m. Moscow time, September 20 on a suburb of South Ossetia's capital, wounding 10 people, including women and children.

South Ossetia declared independence in December 1990 after Georgia would not grant the region autonomous status.

Thousands of Georgian and Ossetian civilians were killed and wounded in armed clashes with Georgian troops. Peace was restored by a 1992 agreement on the deployment there of Georgian, Ossetian and Russian peacekeepers.

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