The bloodshed continues in Abkhazia. Explosions sounded in different parts of the republic early today. The first series of explosions sounded at the railway station and in the port of Ochamchira at 5 a.m. About 7 a.m., an explosion sounded at the Russian-Abkhazian border in a train traveling from Ochamchira to Psou. As a result, one man was killed and fifteen wounded.
A gasoline tanker blew up on Abkhazia’s central highway near the settlement of Beslakhuba at 9.25 a.m.
Sukumi (the capital of Abkhazia) accuses Georgian special services of organizing the explosions. Sources from Abkhazia’s believe that “Georgian authorities are getting ready for large-scale operations against Abkhazia.”
“The acts of terrorism are just a part of the operation designed to destabilize the situation," according to Sukhumi. Georgian authorities deny any connection with the explosions and say, that Abkhazian authorities intensify the tension in the region on purpose.
Georgian Defense Minister Lieutenant-General David Tevzadze said at a press-conference today that a provocation was being developed in Abkhazia. It will result in an armed offensive of Russian peacekeepers in the area of the Kodorsky gorge. The Defense Ministry also stated that “specially trained servicemen have been already or will be soon delivered to the area of the Abkhazian conflict. First, the servicemen will stage an attack at one of the Russian peacekeepers’ posts, then the “offenders” will escape and will be chased, as has agreed upon beforehand," BS Press reports. Tevzadze thinks that the peacekeepers' offensive will be directed towards the Kodorsky gorge. It is not ruled out that the situation will also aggravate in South Osetia, where Russian peacekeepers will strengthen the contingent. The minister thinks that several attempts will be made to change the situation in the Pankissky gorge for the worse.
David Tevzadze thinks that the stir about the US’s aid program designed for Georgian armed forces has spurred the provocation. The defense minister will have to publish information about the coming provocation in order to prevent it. Some details are still to be kept secret.
Georgia will try to settle the Abkhazian problem with every possible means, but the fact that the idea of a Russian-Abkhazian offensive on Georgia’s territory is mentioned as the counter-argument beats everything. First of all, Georgian leadership will benefit from the intensification of the conflict as an excuse for the presence of the US troops on its territory.
It is not ruled out that the gangs controlled by the Georgian government will carry out several more operations on Abkhazian territory, probably in some Georgian settlements and in the Kodorsky Gorge. The operations may entail armed resentment of the locals. Russian peacekeepers will probably have to interfere in the conflict then.
An inter-parliamentary anti-terrorism forum is to be held in St. Petersburg. Against the background of the Abkhazian conflict, the forum is rather topical. FSB head Nikolay Patrushev has appeared at the forum today. He suggested that Afghanistan’s experience in the sphere of the creation of an anti-terrorism coalition is to be used in Russia as well. No regions for application of the experience has been mentioned, but Georgia is certainly number one on the list.
Georgian leadership objects to a joint Russian-Georgian operation in the Pankissky gorge, but welcomes US specialists. Decisions developed at the forum will be further considered at the nearest CIS session. If Georgia signs the documents, it will not be able to give them up.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/03/27/38870.html
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building