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10 Aug, 2008 23:51

We will push Georgians out of Kodori Gorge - Abkhazian president

Intense military activity was evident in the Kodori Gorge in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia on Sunday. The upper Kodori gorge is the only part of Abkhazia still controlled by Georgia.

According to the breakaway republic’s president Sergey Bagapsh “the pushing-out operation will be carried out in full.”

On Sunday Russian peacekeepers deployed in the disputed Kodori Gorge on the Georgian-Abkhazian border received an order to leave the area.

Abkhazia's army launched a military operation to try to force Georgian troops out of the upper part of the Kodori Gorge on Saturday. It started with the use of artillery and air strikes against Georgian forces.

Like South Ossetia, Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the early 90's and has been seeking independence.

In the war that followed, the region managed to defeat the invading Georgian army.

With fears of another invasion, Abkhazia's President Sergey Bagapsh has issued a decree putting the troops on high alert.

Meanwhile, Abkhaz residents in the upper Kodori Gorge, an area bordering Georgia, are preparing to evacuate.

Exchanges of fire

RT's correspondent in Abhkhasia, reported on Monday morning that the situation remains tense in the breakaway republic.

Two Abkhasian soldiers are reported to have been injured, with one in a serious condition. The cause of their injuries is not yet clear.

The Russian Navy reported on Sunday that four Georgian ships violated the safety zone of the Abkhasian coast. In the ensuing exchange of fire with the Russian navy, one of the vessels was sunk. The remaining Georgian boats returned to their naval base in Poti. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)