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1 Mar, 2008 19:53

Russian peacekeepers on alert in Abkhazia

Russia is building up its peacekeeping forces on the de facto border between Georgia and its breakaway republic of Abkhazia. On Thursday, Abkhazia announced it would seek recognition from Russia and the EU.

It comes as Abkhazia’s president ordered the partial mobilisation of the army, in response to Georgian intentions to forcibly free a detained reporter, and a car explosion near the border.

Three policemen were injured in the blast on Friday, but it's thought the attackers fled over the border into Georgia.

Abkhazian authorities say up to 1,000 Georgian troops have been redeployed to the border, although none have crossed into the zone monitored by Russian peace-keepers.

Tension increased between Georgia and Abkhazia following Kosovo’s declaration of independence.