Two Georgian diversionists, Russian serviceman killed in shootout in Abkhazia

Two Georgian diversionists and a Russian border guard were killed in a shootout in the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia on Friday, the press center of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

"An FSB border squad came under fire while doing terrain reconnaissance in Abkhazia's Galsky region," an FSB spokesman said. One of the Russian officers and two of the attackers died in the shootout.

"According to the Abkhazian State Security Service, the assailants, Vasha Sechinava and Malkhaz Kharchilava, were members of the Georgian Interior Ministry's...subversive group which was conducting reconnaissance and allegedly preparing acts of sabotage in Abkhazia," the spokesman said.

The two Georgian attackers were under the direct control of the deputy head of the Georgian Interior Ministry's reconnaissance department in Abkhazia's Zugdidsky region, the spokesman said.

Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and another former Georgian republic, South Ossetia, after a five-day war in 2008 and has since been the guarantor of their security, deploying thousands of troops and border guards to the tiny republics.

[Source: Russian Information Agency Novosti, Moscow, 08Apr11]

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