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South Ossetias President Eduard Kokoity accuses Georgia of terrorism and dismisses any further talks with Tbilisi.
Photo: Pavel Smertin
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Nov. 01, 2006
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South Ossetia Announces Thwarting a Terrorist Plot
Chechen militants who planned terrorist attacks by request of the Georgian intelligence have been eliminated in South Ossetia, local authorities reported Tuesday. South Ossetian President announced a halt in talks with Georgia. On November 12, South Ossetia will go to the polls to elect the president and vote on the republics independence. Obviously, success in fighting terrorism plays to the advantage of Tskhinvali leaders.
A skirmish happened Tuesday morning near the town of Dzhava in South Ossetia, not far from the Russian frontier. The police discovered a sabotage group of four people in the Sinagurskoye district, authorities report. After the unidentified armed men declined to produce their documents, the policemen had to open fire. The four men were killed in the skirmish.

The Ossetian police officers who discovered the group say that the men were speaking Georgian. In addition, Wahhabi books and maps of the Dzhavsky district were reportedly found in the militants backpacks. The map had marks of major communication ties and strategically important objects, including President Eduard Kokoitys residence, Nikolay Dolgopolov, head of South Ossetias KGB, said.

Experts in Tskhinvali concluded after examining the bodies and the mens belongings that the killed were Georgian-speaking Muslims, most likely from the Pankissi Gorge where Chechen Kistinians live. Georgia often uses services of Kistinian militants, so it is possible that it also hired them to commit terrorist attacks in South Ossetia, South Ossetias Interior Ministry told Kommersant. Quite a menacing set of arms was found with the killed, including three assault rifles, guns, grenade launchers, grenades and two explosive devices. The purported militants also had sets of new Russian military uniform with peace keepers stripes.

The South Ossetian police and intelligence believe that the four men were plotting terrorist attacks. An official statement was issued after an extraordinary session of the South Ossetian military and police saying that the uniform and documents show that the men were planning a series of large-scale sabotage and terrorist attacks against South Ossetia.

South Ossetias President Eduard Kokoity issued a special statement Tuesday. He accused Georgia of state terrorism and said he would not hold any negotiations with Georgian leaders. Talks between Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and the South Ossetian leader have spectacularly fallen apart.

Tbilisi flatly dismissed the accusations. It is a lie that we have sent a sabotage group to Dzhava, Shota Khizanishvili, spokesperson for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said. He confirmed the fact of the skirmish but said it had nothing to do with Georgia. Khizanishvili supposed that the incident could have connection with internal conflicts in South Ossetia.

Georgias State Minister for Conflict Resolution Merab Antadze told Kommersant he was sorry that South Ossetia decided to break off negotiations with a clearly poor excuse. Antadze, a member of the Georgian Foreign Ministrys delegation, said he had brought to Moscow new proposals of the Georgian party on the peace settlement of the South Ossetian conflict.

Meanwhile, South Ossetia is not likely to consider any initiatives of Georgia now. Tskhinvali has other important things to do. On November 20, the breakaway region of Georgia is to elect the president and decide on the republics independence. Therefore, local authorities find it more important to show to their people that they are set for a battle for the republics independence. Successful operations with fighting terrorists and saboteurs come in handy here.

Vladimir Novikov from Tbilisi, Inga Kochieva from Tskhinvali and Vladimir Solovyev

All the Article in Russian as of Nov. 01, 2006

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