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    SIX KILLED IN A SKIRMISH IN GEORGIA

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    TBILISI, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Marina Kvaratskhelia) - A police station in the Georgian district bordering on Abkhazia was attacked last night.

    The police chief of Zugdidi (the administrative centre of Samegrelo), Kakha Rapava, said that six men were killed, according to initial reports.

    According to him, at about two o'clock at night, Moscow time, the Georgian patrol police station in the village of Lia, bordering on Abkhazia, was attacked. The attackers encircled it, and a skirmish broke out. Four people were killed and several wounded from the Georgian side. Two attackers were killed and several wounded, according to the initial reports.

    Thanks to the interference of the Russian peacekeepers, said Rapava, the Georgian police succeeded in breaking through the ring.

    "The Russian peacekeepers used two armoured infantry vehicles. Had it not been for their help, we would have found ourselves in a very difficult situation," said the police chief.

    He specified that after the appearance of the peacekeepers' armoured vehicles the attackers lifted the encirclement and disappeared.

    According to the Zugdidi police spokesman, the preliminary data suggests that the attackers were members of the Turamba criminal group operating in the Abkhazian district of Gali.

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