Times Wire Reports

Russian troops in the breakaway province of South Ossetia have been put on increased combat readiness as tension rises along the de facto border with Georgia, officials said.

Andrei Nesterenko, the spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry, said the move was a response to Georgian "provocations" and was aimed at preventing more violence.

The situation near South Ossetia has become increasingly tense as the first anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war approaches Friday, with the two nations accusing each other of provocations.

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