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YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsCease Fires

Truce Reportedly Broken in Abkhazia

June 02, 1993| Associated Press

MOSCOW — Georgian and separatist Abkhazian forces accused each other of violating an 11-day-old cease-fire Tuesday, and heavy artillery fire was reported in the former Soviet republic.

News agencies carried differing accounts of how the fighting began. No deaths were reported.

Georgian sources reported that Abkhazian snipers fired on Georgian soldiers Monday and then shelled their positions in the Ochamchir region, forcing the Georgians to respond. Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Abkhazian authorities as saying that Georgian troops opened fire with machine guns and artillery in the region.

Abkhazia is a tiny autonomous region in northwest Georgia nestled in the Caucasus Mountains. Fewer than 20% of the region's 540,000 people are ethnic Abkhazians.

Fighting in Abkhazia began in August, 1992, when Georgia sent troops to quell what it claimed were armed supporters of the ousted former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.

Abkhazian leaders viewed the arrival of the troops--who came less than a month after the local parliament declared independence from Tbilisi--as an invasion and fought back.

More than 1,000 people have died in the fighting.

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