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World Briefing / GEORGIA

Shoot-back order in South Ossetia

October 20, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Police in South Ossetia have been ordered to shoot back if they come under fire -- a directive that increases the threat of new violence between Georgia and the Russian-backed separatist region.

South Ossetia's top police official issued the order after a police post came under automatic-weapons fire Saturday from the ethnic Georgian village of Nikozi, the separatist government said. Acting Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev said no one was hurt.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili denied that Georgian forces fired at a South Ossetian post and said Nikozi came under fire early Saturday from South Ossetian-controlled territory.

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