Some bullets have strayed into the center of the city and shots from 150 millimeter howitzers have been heard, he said.
Aug 19 2004 2:10PM S. Ossetia reports heavy fighting for heights around Tskhinvali TSKHINVALI. Aug 19 (Interfax) - Heavy fighting is underway for heights over a road circumventing Tskhinvali in the vicinity of the village of Tliakana, Ibragim Gassiyev, deputy minister of South Ossetia, a breakaway internal republic of Georgia, told Interfax on Thursday.
Georgian units have stopped a convoy of peacekeepers sent by the Joint Control Commission to set up outposts on heights around Tskhinvali, Maj. Gen. Svyatoslav Nabzdorov, commander of the joint peacekeeping forces, told Interfax earlier.
He quoted Georgian officials as saying that the convoy had to be stopped because the Georgian Interior Ministry's units were engaged there in an operation designed to neutralize South Ossetian and mercenary gangs.
Aug 19 2004 1:26PM South Ossetia refutes Georgian claims of alleged death of 8 Cossacks TSKHINVALI. Aug 19 (Interfax) - The South Ossetian authorities have denied Georgian claims that eight Cossacks were killed near Tskhinvali.
"The Georgian interior minister's statement that eight Cossacks were killed near Tskhinvali last night is not true. There are no Cossacks in the Ossetian armed units," Chairwoman of the South Ossetian Information and Press Committee Irina Gagloyeva told Interfax.
Georgian armed units attacked and overran Ossetian and Cossack positions early on Thursday and eight Cossacks were found dead on the seized heights, Georgian Interior Minister Irakly Okruashvili told Rustavi 2 TV company by phone.
He said the Cossacks left behind many weapons, uniforms and food in their retreat.
Aug 19 2004 1:11PM Convoy of Russian peacekeepers in S. Ossetia stopped TSKHINVALI. Aug 19 (Interfax) - An armored convoy belonging to the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone was stopped near the village of Eredvi on Thursday morning.
Commander Gen. Svyatoslav Nabzdorov told Interfax that the peacekeepers traveling with the convoy were instructed to set up additional outposts, in compliance with a decision made by the Joint Control Commission on the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict.
The convoy was stopped under Georgian Interior Minister Irakly Okruashvili's order, the commander said.
Aug 19 2004 11:38AM S. Ossetia wants to counter 'third force' together with Georgian military TBILISI. Aug 19 (Interfax) - Anatoly Barankevich, defense minister of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia, has suggested that his republic and Georgia should join forces in countering armed groups that are believed to be responsible for inciting shootouts in the Georgian- South Ossetian conflict zone, a Georgian official said.
"The defense minister of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia, Anatoly Barankevich, has suggested that we attack these positions together, but Ossetian villages should not be damaged," Maj. Gen. Giorgi Iukuridze, head of the Georgian armed forces' general staff, told journalists in Tbilisi on Thursday.
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