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Russia's casualty figure in Georgia disputed

September 12, 2008|From the Associated Press

MOSCOW — Fewer than 100 civilians died in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia during last month's conflict, human rights activists said Thursday, a far smaller number than Russian and South Ossetian officials have claimed.

Tatiana Lokshina, a Russian researcher for the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch, said trips to a hospital, a cemetery and conversations with residents failed to corroborate claims by Russia and its South Ossetian allies that 1,500 and even as many as 2,000 civilians were killed.

Russian prosecutors have refrained from comment until their investigation of civilian deaths is complete.

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