Saakashvili calls for general military mobilization

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili called for a general military mobilization on Friday as fighting raged in Georgia's separatist region of South Ossetia.

'Hundreds of thousands of Georgians should stand together and save Georgia,' Saakashvili said in a televized national address.

Georgian troops, supported by bombers, had surrounded the region's capital Tskinvali, news agency Interfax reported.

Saakashvili said the Georgian side controlled a 'large part of South Ossetia.

'Tskhinvali is now liberated and fighting is ongoing now in the Tskhinvali's center,' he added.

At least 15 people, primarily civilians, were killed in heavy shelling and airstrikes of the capital Tskhinvali, the news agency Interfax cited South Ossetian officials as saying.

Both sides deployed fighter jets to carry out bombings on one another Friday.

South Ossetia side for the first time attacked with two Sukhoi SU-25 fighter jets to bomb Georgian positions, and a short time later, Georgia sent five of the same jet.

Saakashvili accused Russia of arming separtist troops, calling the current fighting a 'large scale- military aggression' by Russia.

[Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Moscow, Tbilisi and Georgia, 08Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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