August 7, 2008 / 12:13 PM / 10 years ago

Georgia and separatists report heavy fighting

TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia and South Ossetian separatists on Thursday reported a heavy battle involving artillery in the breakaway region and blamed each other for the fighting.

A spokesman for the Georgian Interior Ministry, Shota Utiashvili, told Reuters separatists were trying to attack the Tbilisi-controlled village of Avnevi and had destroyed an armored personnel carrier (APC).

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted separatist officials as saying Georgians were shelling a nearby village of Khetagurovo using machineguns, mortars and guns from APCs. There is no independent information about the situation.

Reporting by Matt Robinson in Tbilisi and Oleg Shchedrov in Moscow

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