Troops, Separatists Battle in Abkhazia

Associated Press

Government troops and Abkhazian separatists battled near the Black Sea coastal city of Gagra on Sunday, hours before a cease-fire was to take effect, reports said. A Georgian official said 10 Georgian soldiers died and 20 were wounded.

The Abkhazians are Muslims who control the rich autonomous area in western Georgia even though they are in the minority. When Georgia sent troops to the region earlier this month, the separatists considered the action an infringement on their proclaimed sovereignty and fought back. More than 100 people have died in the violence.