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3 Nov, 2008 10:37

Scared Ossetians flee Georgia

Ethnic Ossetians are leaving Georgia in search of somewhere to live in South Ossetia. Refugees claim they're being forced out of their homes and villages in Georgia, where most of them have spent all their lives.

“It's impossible to live in Georgia. They stole our cows. They openly curse Ossetians in the streets. We were afraid of them,” said 70-year-old Venera Khachmazova.

She said that she had had to sell her house and a large fruit garden cheaply and escape from the country.

Tensions still remain between Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Abhkazian authorities recently announced that Georgia had “launched a terrorist campaign” in Abkhazia and have accused the Georgian side of violating ceasefire agreement.

In turn, the Georgian side claims that Abkhazia is deliberately exaggerating.

“Such statements are intended to destabilise the situation and again introduce extra (Russian) troops in the parts of Georgia, from where they had been pulled back,” said Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman, Shota Utiashvili.