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29 Jul, 2008 12:12

Gunmen in South Ossetia turn on monitors

An international monitoring group has come under fire in Georgia as they were trying to reach the scene of a gun attack. The group, made up of peacekeepers and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers, was unharmed.

The monitoring group were on route to the Georgian village of Sveri.

It is not the first time when peacekeepers and OSCE monitors have encountered trouble. Just a day earlier they were stopped by armed men near the monitored zone, where they were checking reports of a South Ossetian military build-up.

The spokesman for the Joint Peacekeeping Force stated that South Ossetian action has contributed to the escalation of tension in the conflict zone. “We will demand that the monitoring group be allowed to examine this place and want a reaction to the separatists' gunfire,” the Georgian commander said.

Meanwhile, Eduard Kokoity, president of the unrecognized republic, has suggested that Russian and South Ossetian peacekeeping battalions should be increased, with 300 people in each.