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17 Oct, 2007 18:23

Shooting breaks out on Georgia-Abkhazia border

At least one Abkhazian border guard has reportedly been injured in a shoot out with Georgian forces on the border of the breakaway republic.

Abkhazian police say the border guards managed to fight off the Georgian assault during a shoot-out.

However, Abkhazian and Georgian sides are giving conflicting reports on what happened.

Ruslan Kishmaria, Abkhazian President's representative in the Gali district where the fight took place, says the clash occurred as a border patrol was returning around 9.30pm, Moscow time.

“Two of them were walking ahead, and one behind. A Georgian group of at least ten people opened fire on the Abkhazians. One of the frontier guards was wounded and taken to the Georgian side,” he said.  
“The two others returned fire. When back-up arrived, the Georgians had already been on their territory. The CIS observers headed to the scene. The investigators are at the site. The incident took place on Abkhazian territory. It's part of continuous provocations on the Georgian side,” Mr Kishmaria added.
And a representative of the Abkhazian government-in-exile, Dalila Khorava, claims the Georgian police were trying to prevent an Abkhazian attack.
“The Georgian police had been informed that the Abkhazian separatists were going to attack one of the objects in Nabakevi village and police were waiting for them,” she said.
At the end of September two border guards from Georgia's breakaway republic were killed and seven captured in a similar incident.