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Sokhumi accuses Tbilisi of causing an explosion

By Temuri Kiguradze
Friday, May 15
A vehicle containing workers from the Siemens company who were working on the Enguri Hydro Power Plant exploded on May 13, leaving no injured. Enguri HPP is located on the administrative border of the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia and run by both Georgian and Abkhazian technicians.

The head of the Gali region’s separatist police, Laurens Kogonia, has stated that the Abkhazian de facto authorities consider that the explosion was the work of “Georgian special services.” Kogonia stated that the blast was caused by a hand grenade being activated in the path of the vehicle. “This incident was designed to discredit the force structures and local authorities of Abkhazia, to show they are incapable of protecting foreign technicians,” stated Kogonia, adding that an investigation will now determine how the culprits managed to enter the territory of the HPP.

The “Georgian provocation” view is also held by the leader of separatist Abkhazia, Sergey Baghapsh, who has stated that by “conducting provocations like this Georgia tries to scare foreigners away from cooperating with Abkhazia.” As he said this the de facto authorities also announced the finding of a large weapons and ammunition cache in Kodori Gorge, the only part of Abkhazia controlled by Georgia before the August conflict. According to the separatist authorities these weapon were destined “to be used by Georgian special services for another provocation.” The Georgian side has not yet commented on this incident.

Enguri HPP is the biggest power plant in Georgia. It provides electricity for the central Georgian regions, Abkhazia and Russia. Part of the station is in territory controlled by the Abkhazian separatists.