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11 Aug, 2008 01:18

Residents flee war zone in their thousands

After three days of fighting Tskhinvali has been left devastated. Its luckiest residents are those that have escaped with their lives. Thousands are dead but many thousands more have been forced to flee, leaving their ho

Refugees from South Ossetia are currently taking shelter in hospitals and schools in the neighbouring Russian republic of North Ossetia.

Thousands of evacuees are taking shelter in hastily organised camps. Schools and kindergartens are among the places turned into temporary bedsits. Many people here say they are lucky to be alive.

The North Ossetians are doing all they can to help their less fortunate ethnic brothers. Humanitarian aid is flooding in from Moscow.

Hospitals in the region are full to capacity, working flat out to treat the wounded.

Humanitarian corridor

Georgia and Russia finally reached an agreement to open a humanitarian corridor, a safe exit out of Tshinvali. South Ossetian officials plan to use this route to evacuate 3,000 people on Monday.

Thousands of evacuees now face an uncertain future: their homes and livelihoods destroyed. They are wondering can they ever return to their homeleand.

City in ruins

Back in South Ossetia the capital lies in ruins. The main hospital was targeted by artillery fire. Doctors were forced to move patients needing treatment into the basement.

Those remaining in Tskhinvali are facing the challenge of living in a ruined city. Many blame Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili for what they describe as genocide.