South Ossetia Accuses Georgia of Military Buildup

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti)–Authorities in the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia have accused Georgia of increasing its military presence in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone.

"According to our intelligence," Irina Gagloyeva–chair of Georgia’s Media Committee–told RIA in a telephone interview Tuesday–"80 Georgian interior troops have been recently deployed in the vicinity of the Georgian village of Nikozi–on the border with South Ossetia. A barrack is now being hastily built for them in the village."

According to her–Georgia has taken further provocative actions against South Ossetia in the past 24 hours. Georgians fired small arms on South Ossetia last night; however–no one was injured.

Georgian policemen reportedly detained and beat two South Ossetian policemen near the village of Kekhvi. "The policemen were not released until 4 a.m.," she said. "They are now in a Tskhinvali hospital and one has a concussion and the other has broken ribs."

She also noted that Georgia’s actions were carefully orchestrated–and aimed at "exerting pressure on authorities in South Ossetia ahead of their planned meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania."

"Consultations are currently underway," she said–"and the South Ossetian side has no unanimous opinion yet as to the format–the time-frame or the venue of such a meeting." She said that the South Ossetian government would like the meeting to involve a third party.

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