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Another explosion at Zugdidi railway station

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, September 16
An explosion damaged a passenger train’s carriage on September 15 in the western Georgian town of Zugdidi, close to the administrative border with breakaway Abkhazia.

The explosive device went off at about 3 am, local officials said. A conductor, who was in the carriage when the explosion occurred, escaped with no injuries. The Zugdidi-Tbilisi train left the station on schedule at 10 am.

This is the sixth explosion to occur recently on the railway lines in Zugdidi. A TNT bomb went off on the Zugdidi-Khobi railway section on June 2, damaging the lines, according to local police. Three explosions were also reported early on the morning of June 11 in Zugdidi, the first in an empty train at the station, injuring a railway employee, the second in a litter bin nearby and the third at the Zugdidi Police Department building. At the time the Interior Ministry described these explosions as an attempt by “some forces” to “destabilise” the situation in the region. The most recent previous explosion happened on September 6, when a device exploded on the track close to Zugdidi while the passenger train was passing.

Georgian officials described yesterday’s incident as a “terrorist act.” Georgian State Minister of Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili said it was an “intentional provocation” aimed at “terrorising” local residents. The Minister noted that the explosive was made of hexogen, which he said had been used to blow up houses in Moscow. He added that the separatists do not have this substance. “An investigation will be started and the relevant services will prepare their conclusions,” Iakobashvili told journalists on Tuesday.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Shota Utiashvili refrained giving details of the case or ideas about who might have staged the explosion, saying that specific statements will be made when the investigation is over. Utiashvili told The Messenger that the Interior Ministry is “doing its best” to keep the citizens of Zugdidi safe. “Fortunately there have been no victims of all these explosions,” he said. “We are waiting for the results of the investigation now.”