Fighting Spoils Week-Old Georgia Truce

Associated Press

Less than a week after the signing of a truce, Georgian troops battled Abkhazian separatists along the Inguri River in the breakaway province, the two sides reported Friday.

Each blamed the other for the outbreak of fighting Thursday.

Abkhazia's military said one of its soldiers was killed and two were wounded when about 60 Georgian soldiers tried unsuccessfully to cross the Inguri.

Abkhazia, a province along the Black Sea once known for its palm-lined beaches and resorts, has become one of the worst flash points in the former Soviet Union.

More than 3,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands have become refugees since the fighting broke out in mid-1992, when Georgian leader Eduard A. Shevardnadze sent troops to quell the separatist movement.

The Abkhazians, an ethnic group that traces its lineage back many centuries, want to become independent or possibly part of Russia.

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