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Georgia, breakaway South Ossetia trade accusations of night fire

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Georgia and its breakaway province of South Ossetia on Sunday traded accusations of night shelling in the area, with the rebel region saying several people were injured in the incident.
MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia and its breakaway province of South Ossetia on Sunday traded accusations of night shelling in the area, with the rebel region saying several people were injured in the incident.

South Ossetian Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev said that four persons, including two interior officers, were wounded during the shelling of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway republic, late on Saturday.

South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. A bloody conflict that followed killed hundreds of people. The pro-Western Georgian government of Mikheil Saakashvili has said it is determined to bring the breakaway region back under its control.

Mindzayev said that fire from large-caliber weapons and mortars was opened from the Georgian villages of Ergneti and Nikozi.

Meanwhile, Mamuka Kurashvili, the commander of the Georgian peacekeeping battalion in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict area, accused South Ossetia of shelling the Georgian villages of Mamisaantubani, Tsargvi and Ergneti on the night of January 14-15, adding that no persons were injured in the incident.

At the same time, the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in the conflict area said Georgia and South Ossetia had exchanged fire late on Saturday.

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