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South Ossetia evacuates amid conflict warnings

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South Ossetia evacuates amid conflict warnings


There are reports that Georgia is reinforcing its troops along the border with separatist South Ossetia. South Ossetian sources say Georgian heavy artillery is headed for their capital Tskhinvali.

Exchanges of fire have killed six people in three days. The South Ossetians blame Georgian forces. Tbilisi denies the reports and has accused the separatists of provocation.

South Ossetia proclaimed its independence from Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and has been fighting for recognition ever since.

“Last night was quiet,” said Yuri Morozov, Prime Minister of South Ossetia. “But this morning the shelling from the Georgian side started again around one particular village. The situation remains tense. That is why we have decided to start evacuating.”

Women, children and pensioners have been queuing for buses in the capital to take them across the border to North Ossetia, inside Russia.

The move was ordered by the prime minister. Nobody knows how long they will have to be away.

Russia is still calling for calm on both sides. The South Ossetian president has called for volunteers from Russia and other Caucasus republics to help fight Georgia.

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