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Tbilisi denies responsibility for South Ossetia car bomb attack

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 19

Georgian officials have denied responsibility for a deadly car bomb attack this week in separatist South Ossetia, saying the violence arose out of a dispute between local organized crime groups.

Representatives of the de facto South Osstian authorities alleged the December 16 explosion, which killed one man and left two others serious injured, was plotted by the Georgian government.

Tbilisi, however, has called for an international probe into the attack, and said that secessionist authorities are not allowing either peacekeeping forces or OSCE monitors to examine the scene of the explosion or its victims.

On December 18, Rustavi 2 reported deputy State Minister for Conflict Resolution Dimitri Manjavidze as saying the uncooperativeness of the secessionist authorities proves the “terrorist act was the result of another internal, criminal settling of scores.”

The attack underscores the political weakness of the South Ossetian separatist authorities, he added.

“This incident confirms that the criminal situation [in South Ossetia] is very serious, and the de facto authorities are not capable of bringing elementary order to territory under their control,” a separate state ministry statement said, according to the Black Sea Press news agency.

One of the injured men, Erik Dudayev, has been wanted by Georgian police. His brother, the state minister confirmed, is jailed by Georgian authorities on felony charges.

In a separate incident, Tbilisi blamed clan warfare for another apparent car bomb attack in secessionist Abkhazia. Two were reported killed in the predominantly ethnic Georgian district of Gali, according to the news agency Kavkas Press, including the head of the local separatist administration.