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1 Aug, 2008 17:15

Shooting kills 6 in South Ossetia

Six people have been shot dead by gunmen in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia and at least twelve others were wounded.

The region's capital is now coming under heavy fire according to Irina Gagloeva from the Committee for Information and the Press in South Ossetia.

“At the moment the city of Tskhinvali is being fired on from the north and south, using long range weapons and mortars. At three o’clock it began with sniper fire aimed at South Ossetian police forces. Initial reports suggest three people have been killed. South Ossetian forces have started to return fire,” said Gagloeva.

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

Its independence has never been recognised by any state.