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    MOSCOW DENIES REPORTS OF RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPER'S DEATH IN ABKHAZIA

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    MOSCOW, January 29, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- On Thursday, the Ministry of Defense press service refuted reports by some media outlets that a Russian soldier from the collective peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia (Georgian self-proclaimed republic) had died.

    "After the incident, Russian peacekeepers assisted in the stabilization of the situation in the region at the request of the Zugdidsky police department. None of the peacekeepers were victims of the attack, " the press release said.

    According to press service, unknown assailants attacked a Georgian police station in Lia village. The command of collective forces took measures to normalize the situation in the area.

    On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defense press service reported that no Russian peacekeepers were injured in the incident.

    As reported earlier, incident in the Tsalendzhikhsky region (Western Georgia) occurred on the night of January 27th. The attackers drove two vehicles to the Lia village police station, and, according to reports, attacked with automatic weapons and grenade launchers. Policemen responded with by firing authorized weapons. During the attack, which lasted for half an hour, four policemen were killed and seven suffered injuries of varying degrees. Two of the attackers were killed in the battle as well. According to preliminary data, there were 4-7 attackers.

    David Buliskiriya, a Georgian refugee from the Galsky region of Abkhazia was identified as one of the attackers.

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