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World Briefing / GEORGIA

Satellite shows homes were burned

October 10, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Hundreds of houses in ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia were torched in August after Russian troops took control of the area, according to an analysis of satellite images.

The analysis, conducted by the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science on behalf of Amnesty International, did not show who was responsible but Amnesty said it may be evidence of war crimes.

Human rights activists have criticized Russia for ignoring the looting of ethnic Georgian villages by South Ossetian militias during and after the war.

Georgia says the looting amounted to "ethnic cleansing." Russia says Georgia's shelling of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, amounts to genocide against Ossetians. Each denies the other's claims.

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