GEORGIA: FIGHTING ERUPTS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT TROOPS AND ETHNIC ABKHAZIAN PARTIZANS AS REFUGEES CONTINUE TO STREAM...
- Title: GEORGIA: FIGHTING ERUPTS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT TROOPS AND ETHNIC ABKHAZIAN PARTIZANS AS REFUGEES CONTINUE TO STREAM ACROSS BORDER
- Date: 24th May 1998
- Summary: NEAR TAGLIONI, GEORGIA (MAY 25, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV'S SOLDIERS RUNNING/GUNFIRE/SMOKE (4 SHOTS) 0.24 2. SV REFUGEES ON BRIDGE 0.29 3. GV FLAMES AND SMOKE IN DISTANCE 0.38 4. VARIOUS OF REFUGEES ON BRIDGE (5 SHOTS) 1.11 5. SV UNIDENTIFIED MAN DESCRIBING WHAT HAPPENED (GEORGIAN) 1.19 6. SLV REFUGEES ON BRIDGE 1.24 7. WS EXTERIOR OF HOSPITAL 1.30 8. VARIOUS OF WOUNDED IN HOSPITAL (5 SHOTS) 1.48 GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ BORDER (MAY 24, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 9. VARIOUS REFUGEES WITH CATTLE/RUSSIAN PEACE KEEPING TROOPS/REFUGEES CROSSING BRIDGE (3 SHOTS) 2.11 10. SV GROUPS OF LOCAL VILLAGERS 2.19 11. SLV GEORGIAN FAMILIES CROSSING THE RIVER ON CARRIAGES AND TRACTORS (3 SHOTS) 2.37 12. SLV/LV TRACTOR WITH REFUGEES (2 SHOTS) 2.56 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVACSPYNY77W69ZRGYZ5FVSPMQ8R
- Location: NEAR TAGLIONI/ GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ BORDER, GEORGIA
- Country: Georgia
- Duration: 00:02:57
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Separatist Abkhaz forces have attacked and overrun an ethnic Georgian village inside a Russian-patrolled buffer zone despite a ceasefire agreed on Sunday.
Refugees continue to stream across the border to escape the fighting.
Residents of the village of Taglioni said on Monday (May 25) that Abkhaz troops had operated in the buffer zone less than a kilometre (about half a mile) from Georgian government-held territory.
The attack took place after Georgian and Abkhazian senior officials drew up a protocol in the separatist capital Sukhumi on Sunday in an attempt to end the fighting in the Gali region.
Georgian leader Eduard Shevradnadze said on Monday in his traditional radio address that the sides had reached an agreement in principle to stop the fighting, withdraw troops from the buffer zone and help the return of thousands of refugees.
He said he expected Georgia's Foreign Minister Irakly Menagarishvili and Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze to fly to the Abkhazian resort town of Gagra on the Black Sea later on Monday to seal the protocol.
Shevardnadze added that if both sides adhered to the agreement there could be a compromise in the relationships with Abkhazia "aimed at the final pacifying of Georgians and Abkhazians".
He also said he would probably meet Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba at some stage.
Shevardnadze appeared to have made his remarks without knowing about Monday's attack.
Hundreds of ethnic Georgians from the village of Taglioni fled their homes, crossing over a war-damaged rail bridge spanning a river, about 500 metres away.
Reporters could see plumes of black smoke rising around the village to the sound of shell and grenade blasts and automatic rifle fire.
Residents said the Abkhaz forces had overrun the village, parts of which could be seen in flames.They said some villagers had been unable to leave because of the fighting.
It is the worst fighting between the two sides since Abkhaz forces threw the Georgian army out of the Black Sea province in 1993.
Around 15,000 villagers have fled the region in the past few days.
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- Embargoed:8th June 1998 13:00