South Ossetian residents send their children to North Ossetia after overnight attack

The residents of independence-seeking South Ossetia attacked last night are sending their children to relatives in North Ossetia.

The South Ossetian committee for the press and information told Itar-Tass by telephone the decision was made after the overnight attack when "fragments [of shells] landed in the yard throughout the night and many families had to put their children to bed in the cellars."

"Residents of the town of Dmenis, Tskhinvali district, will temporary be relocated by the administration’s decision because the town came under intensive artillery fire during the night," a committee official told Itar-Tass.

North Ossetia is determined to joint its forces with South Ossetia in order to repel Georgia’s aggression, North Ossetian leader Taimuraz Mamsurov told his South Ossetian counterpart Eduard Kokoity by telephone on Saturday.

"North Ossetia is closely watching the situation and is ready to come to its southern brothers’ rescue. We are abhorred by the actions of the Georgian political leadership that has unleashed a real war against Ossetians and we are determined to repel the aggression together," he said.

Mamsurov expressed condolences to the families of those killed and stressed, "the north of Ossetia will not stay indifferent to the fate of its brethren".

The attack on Tskhinvali from Georgia continued throughout the night and stopped only in the morning. As a result, six people, including a Russian peacekeeper, were killed and 12 were wounded.

The attack on residential districts of Tskhinvali and adjacent Ossetian villages continued from 21:15 Moscow time, Friday, till 01:00, and then, after a short break, grenade launcher and mortar fire resumed and continued till the morning, South Ossetian Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev told Itar-Tass by telephone earlier.

Mindzayev believes the attack on Tskhinvali was stopped only because South Ossetia opened retaliatory fire on the Georgian firing positions.

"As of 10:00 Moscow time August 2, information about the death of six people and 13 wounded persons on the South Ossetian side had been confirmed. Those included four killed and seven wounded by sniper fire," Ivanov said.

"The command of the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Force believes it necessary to state that the conflicting parties have increased the use of all available firearms, including against civilians and residential quarters," he said.

"If such actions occur again, the Georgian side will bear responsibility for all the consequences of the deterioration of the situation in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict," Ivanov said.

The monitoring conducted by observers of the joint peacekeeping force in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone from three parties together with OSCE mission representatives has established that the fire came from Georgia.

The shooting supposedly from sniper guns came from firing positions recently equipped by Georgia and located some 500 metres west of the Georgian village of Prisi, the peacekeeping force commander's aide Vladimir Ivanov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Vladikavkaz, 02Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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