(AFP) – Jul 7, 2008
TBILISI (AFP) — Georgia's government condemned a recent series of explosions in its breakaway province of Abkhazia and accused Russia of having organised the acts of violence in the pro-Moscow territory.
"These acts of violence are in the interests of those who want to prolong the presence of Russian armed forces illegally deployed in Georgia, who resist demilitarisation and peace in the region and seek to prevent Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations," a government statement said late Monday.
Abkhazia, located on the Black Sea coast, has experienced a series of attacks in recent days.
Four people died and six were wounded late Sunday when an explosion rocked a cafe in the Gali district, Russian news agencies reported.
Last week blasts in the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi and the resort town of Gagra injured at least 10 people.
Rebel leader Sergei Bagapsh was quoted as saying Monday that Abkhazia would cut all ties with the national government, after blaming Georgian officials for the attacks.
"Abkhazia is ending all contacts with Georgia due to Tbilisi's policy of state terrorism," said Bagapsh, Abkhazia's de facto leader, quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency.
Abkhaz and Georgian officials have very little direct contact but some transport links still remain between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia.
Tensions have risen since Russia in April sealed a formal cooperation accord with Abkhazia, partly inspired by Kosovo's independence declaration.
Abkhazia has enjoyed de facto independence since breaking away in a conflict after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
Formally, Abkhazia's independence is not recognised by any country.
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