South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia following a bloody conflict in 1991-1992 that killed hundreds of people. The incumbent Georgian leadership is determined to bring the breakaway region back under its control.
"Today, at 3:30 a.m., an armed group of about 10 persons moved from the Georgian village of Nikozi towards Tskhinvali and shelled the city's northern part. Three persons were wounded, one of them is in a grave condition," Irina Gagloyeva said
The attackers also fired on residential quarters and police check points of the unrecognized republic. The South Ossetia police opened retaliation fire, Gagloyeva said.
However, the commander of the Georgian battalion, which is part of the peacekeeping contingent in the conflict area, denied reports about the alleged attack on Tskhinvali.
"The information about the alleged attack by servicemen of the Georgian Armed Forces does not correspond to reality," Mamuka Kurashvili told Novosti-Georgia news agency.