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South Ossetians say capital under mortar fire, three dead

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 1
Tbilisi, 23:00 local time -- Separatist officials in the de facto South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali say three have been killed today in continuing sniper and mortar attacks.

The separatist interior minister told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that a number of their posts in the breakaway region have come under coordinated attack from Georgian forces.

"Large numbers of Georgian forces have been mobilized at the border of South Ossetia. We expect there will be attempts to seize our territories,” he said.

Georgian forces are directing mortar fire at the southern and northern sides of Tskhinvali and separatist militia are returning fire, according to the South Ossetian press committee.

"Our response to Tbilisi’s aggressive actions will be very severe and very painful for Georgia,” separatist leader Eduard Kokoity told Russia’s Interfax today.

An officer in the Russian peacekeeping forces told reporters that Georgian snipers have killed three and injured seven injured.

There has been no comment from Georgian officials.

Earlier today five Georgian Interior Ministry personnel were injured in a roadside bomb attack, the ministry said.