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6 Oct, 2008 13:30

Tbilisi provoking military response – Russia

The Russian Foreign Ministry says attacks on peacekeepers in the Georgian buffer zones show Tblisi does not want a quiet transition from the Russians to the Europeans.

The Foreign Ministry says seven Russian peacekeepers were killed and eight more seriously injured in a blast outside the headquarters of the Russian peacekeeping mission in the South Ossetian capital Tskhinval on October 3.

On October 6, the ministry says another explosion occurred not far from Abkhazia, in front of a Russian peacekeeping group who were leaving the region inline with the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan.

The Ministry says “it seems that some political forces in Tbilisi are trying to provoke a military response through a series of terror attacks”.

Russia says it is committed to fulfilling an agreement between the Russian and French presidents to withdraw peacekeeping forces from Georgian soil by October 10.

“We are counting on the European Union, which guaranteed there would be no use of force by Georgia, to take measures in order to stabilise the situation according to its obligations,” the Foreign Ministry says.

EU monitors are continuing to oversee Russia's dismantling of its checkpoints along the border of Georgia and the

South Ossetian buffer zone.

Tension mounts after South Ossetia blast