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29 Aug, 2007 03:22

Russian peacekeepers released in Georgia

Eight Russian peacekeepers released by Georgian military police have now returned to their base. On Tuesday, they were arrested after their truck collided with a passenger bus near the Abkhazian border. Russia's Defence Ministry has dismissed the incident

At 2:30 this morning the Russian soldiers were released from detention in the western Georgian city of Zugdidi situated on the border with Georgia's breakaway Republic of Abkhazia. Russian senior military commanders went to the site to secure the release. According to the head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s press service, the peacekeepers were released after consultations.  
The accident took place near the town of Khobi, when a military vehicle collided with a local minibus causing minor injuries to passengers onboard, according to sources in Georgia. Later reports from Russia said no one had been hurt.
There is some dispute as to whether the area in question is within the peacekeepers’ zone of responsibility or not.
Furthermore, Georgian sources claim that the Russians were driving contrary to the laws of the road. This, however, is strongly denied by Russia. According to the Russians, the Georgian passenger bus was the cause of the accident.