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The News in Brief

Monday, March 30
One dead, seven injured in explosions in Shida Kartli Region

Two explosions have occurred in the village of Dvani in the Kareli district. First a pickup-type police vehicle blew up on a mined road while patrolling, then another crew of law enforcers triggered a second explosion when they arrived to assist the injured.

All the injured have been taken to the Gori military hospital. An urgent operation has been performed on one of them. Lado Vardzelashvili, the Governor of Shida Kartli, considers the incident a terrorist act and has blamed the Russian occupiers and separatists for it.

The Georgian Interior Ministry has released a list of people injured in the explosions. The statement says: “As a result of bomb activation five employees of the Special Tasks Main Division of the MIA have been seriously injured, Otar Mkhitarian, Davit Peikrishvili, Avtandil Megrelishvili, Levani Taniashvili and Badri Jioshvili,who died shortly after he was taken to hospital. Aiming to assist the injured officers, Vano Datashvili, the head of the Tighvi Police and Zurab Durglishvili, an employee of the same division, immediately arrived at the place of the incident and also received severe injuries due to the activation of another explosive device.”

Sappers and EU monitors have already been to view the place of the incident. According to preliminary information, a MON-90 anti-personnel mine caused the first explosion. EU monitors will make comments on the incident later, however the Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), Ambassador Hansjorg Haber, condemned the incident, which occurred north of Dvani in the vicinity of the South Ossetian administrative boundary line.

“We are very concerned by today’s explosions. The whole set-up of the incident is very worrying. According to initial investigations, the first explosion seems to have been triggered by a trip wire. Thus, the attackers did not discriminate between potential victims, but any car could have been hit. It is abominable that the second explosion obviously targeted the people coming to help the victims of the first one.

“This attack, whilst policemen were going about their lawful duties, is a totally unacceptable breach of the Sarkozy–Medvedev Agreements. We expect this incident to be thoroughly investigated on both sides of the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary line and those responsible duly prosecuted,” the statement released by the EUMM says.

EU monitors also say that the prompt implementation of the Incident Prevention Mechanism approved during the last round of Geneva Talks has now become even more important to prevent these kind of incidents and decrease tensions.
(Rustavi 2)

Irakli Alasania’s team demands transparency

Irakli Chikovani and Zurab Abashidze, members of Irakli Alasania’s team, held a press conference on giving IDPs legal rights to their places of settlement.

According to Irakli Chikovani, “the Government has begun discriminating between IDPs from Abkhazia in the 1990s and those deriving from the August war.” He said there is no official list of IDPs and in most cases buildings that are of interest to investors are handed over to them and the IDPs will be removed “‘through eminent methods soon.”

Members of the Alliance for Georgia say that this handing over of property is going on secretly. They claim that some of the buildings refugees are living in have been are amortized and some have already been sold and the IDPs have been forced to vacate. Members of Irakli Alasania`s team demand transparency in this process.

Abkhaz separatists pay pensions only to those with Russian passports

Under a joint decision of the Abkhaz separatist ‘Government’ and the Russian pension foundation, since March 21 paying pensions to people without Russian passports and those who have expired Russian passports has been suspended.

The separatist Government has named about three thousand persons who are affected by this change. Their pensions are worth between 200-500 Russian Roubles, equal to GEL 10-25. The living wage on the Russian-occupied territory is about 5,000 Russian Roubles per annum.
(Rustavi 2)

School pupil wounded in Kutaisi

A school pupil was wounded in Kutaisi on March 28. 18-year-old Sergo Cheishvili was shot with an automatic rifle and the bullets lodged in his chest.

The teenager was taken to the Kutaisi church hospital where he was operated on. His condition is described as serious.

Cheishvili is in the12th form of school number 11 in Kutaisi. According to preliminary information, he had a dispute with a classmate and the incident is presumably linked with this. An investigation has been called for.