October 4, 2008

Terrorists Kill 9 Peacekeepers

This headline probably would have resulted in 24/7 media coverage, complete with the talking heads screaming for blood. Unfortunately for John McCain and the repuglicans, the dead people are Russians, not Georgians. Most people in America won't even know about this incident, thanks to our media.
Car bomb kills 9 Russians in South Ossetian capital
By Ellen Barry
Published: October 3, 2008
MOSCOW: A car bomb in the capital of South Ossetia on Friday killed nine Russian peacekeepers and wounded three others, raising tensions in the separatist enclave days before a scheduled pullback of Russian troops from Georgian territory.
President Eduard Kokoity of South Ossetia said he had "no doubt" that Georgian special forces [my bold] were behind the explosion in the capital, Tskhinvali. The acts, he said, "undermine international efforts to stabilize the situation and torpedo the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan."
The blast came six days before a deadline for Russia to pull back from the so-called buffer zone outside South Ossetia, yielding a large swath of land back to Georgian control. European Union monitors began patrolling the buffer zone Wednesday, in accordance with a cease-fire agreement brokered by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and agreed to by Russia. President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia agreed to adhere to the timetable for withdrawal.
"The last terrorist act in South Ossetia proves that Georgia has not abandoned the policy of state terrorism," Kokoity told the Russian news agency Interfax.
Shota Utiashvili, head of the analysis department for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said his country was not involved."It's completely unclear how it could have been done by the Georgians, as Kokoity has said," Utiashvili said. "There is no way we can know where this car came from and why it was taken to a Russian military base."
Utiashvili said the explosion was part of a Russian strategy to delay the planned withdrawal.
"They have tried to create tensions several times by killing Georgian policemen, and we didn't respond to any of the actions," he said. "They just did it themselves."
Zalina Tskhovrebova, editor of South Ossetia, the largest newspaper in Tskhinvali, said the blast was so powerful that it had broken windows and knocked pictures off the wall of her office, which is about 110 meters, or 350 feet, from the site. It also frayed nerves in a city still rebuilding from fighting involving Russian, Ossetian and Georgian forces in August.
Since then, aid has poured into the city from Russia, with teams of workers swarming around school buildings and trucks distributing fresh bread and Russian newspapers.
"My windows had just been replaced," Tskhovrebova said. "People were beginning to be happy."
A low-level war had been simmering between Ossetian and Georgian forces for years, but it flared into open warfare late on Aug. 7, when Tbilisi ordered an attack on the separatist capital. Russia sent troops over the border in response, driving deep into Georgia proper. Russia has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as sovereign nations and promised to protect their borders.
Earlier Friday, an explosive device went off near a car belonging to Anatoli Margiyev, head of South Ossetia's Leningorsk district administration, as he was en route to Tskhinvali, Interfax reported. The car was set on fire, but Margiyev jumped clear.
The explosion occurred in an ethnic Georgian area, and a South Ossetian government spokesman said it had been an attempt on Margiyev's life. Since he took the position as chief of the district administration, he has been threatened repeatedly and asked to step down, Interfax reported.

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