New Clashes on Ossetia Border

(BBC)–Clashes have been reported between Georgian troops and separatist forces in Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region. Georgian television reported intense shooting near the front line on Sunday. The territory has seen growing tension recently–with fears of a return to the civil war of the early 1990s. But earlier this month Russia–Georgia and South Ossetia agreed not to use force to try to end their simmering territorial conflict.

Tensions were raised earlier this month when Georgian troops detained a convoy of Russian peacekeeping vehicles they claimed were smuggling arms to the region–while separatists held a group of Georgian soldiers hostage for 24 hours.

South Ossetia split from the rest of Georgia during a civil war at the end of the Soviet era and now wants to join Russia.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has pledged to reunite his fractured country–by bringing South Ossetia and Abkhazia–another breakaway region–back under central authority.

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