Georgian Policeman Killed, Several Injured in Khurcha
One Georgian policeman was killed and three others were injured on September 21, after a Georgian police checkpoint came under fire in the village of Khurcha located near the Abkhazia, the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs said.
Early in the morning on September 22, two other policemen were injured as a result of a land mine explosion in the same area.
The shootout occurred at 7 p.m. on Sunday, the gunfire came "from the direction of the Russian checkpoint," said the Ministry.
The shooting lasted for several minutes after the Georgian side returned fire, says the Ministry's official. The leadership of Sokhumi, though, denied Georgia's accusations that the gunshots came from the Abkhaz side.
"There was no firing and there could not have been," said Ruslan Kishmaria, the Abkhaz leadership's envoy in the region of Gali told Interfax. "There are posts of Abkhaz border guards and Russian peacekeepers opposite the village Khurcha. The sounds of shooting were heard inside the village but what was happening there is hard to say."
This is not the first such incident after the ceasefire to occur near to the rebel regions. On September 10 one policeman was fatally shot as a result from gunfire directed at a Georgian police checkpoint located at the entrance of Karaleti, a village in the region of Gori. The fire originated from the Russian check post located nearby, according to Georgia's MIA. On September 13, another Georgian policeman was killed in Ganmukhuri, near the Abkhazia. The Ministry said the fire came from Abkhaz separatists.
22 September Mon 2008, 18:49:59