A Georgian military helicopter has crashed, killing three personnel, during a time of heightened tension with Russia. The Georgian government says helicopters were being scrambled in bad weather to respond to alleged attacks by Russian forces in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.
Georgia claims three Russian helicopters fired on a disputed gorge under Georgian control. Moscow has denied any attacks. The pro-Tbilisi administration near the gorge also claims two villages were attacked with rockets from Abkhazia. The Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili called an emergency meeting of his security council. His foreign minister said he would discuss the crisis with his Russian counterpart. Abkhazia, which held elections not recognised by Georgia earlier this month, has often been a flashpoint for tensions between Moscow and Tbilisi.