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1 Aug, 2008 22:41

Night of violence in South Ossetia claims six

Shelling in the Georgian breakaway republic of South Ossetia has resumed after a brief period of calm. According to sources in South Ossetia, grenade launchers from the Georgian side are now bombarding the residential neighbourhoods of the capital Tskhinv

Earlier, five South Ossetians and a peacekeeper from a North Ossetian battalion were killed and at least twelve others were wounded.

South Ossetia says violence erupted when Georgian snipers killed three people.

It then escalated into mortar fighting.

Eduard Kokoity, the President of the self-proclaimed republic, said his military forces were ready to respond and would retaliate against any further aggression from the Georgian side.

Meanwhile, Tbilisi claims the escalation of tension occurred after South Ossetians attacked a Georgian patrol with a roadside bomb and shelled Georgian positions on the de-facto border.

South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s amid violent conflict between ethnic Georgians and South Ossetians.

It has not been recognised by the international community.