Saturday, Aug 9, 2008
Bombs rocked Tbilisi early Saturday morning as the fight between Georgia and Russia over a breakaway region intensified and moved into the Georgian capital.
Government buildings, including the Parliament, were evacuated when the bombs fell.
Heavy casualties have reported on both sides since Russian forces moved Friday into South Ossetia, a pro-Russian autonomous region of Georgia.
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Russian bombers were targeting Georgia’s economic infrastructure, National Security Council secretary Alexander Lomaia said, including the country’s largest Black Sea port, Poti, and the main road connecting the southern part of Georgia with the east and the airport.
Georgian television reported that the port had been destroyed.
Georgia, a former Soviet state, sent troops into South Ossetia on Thursday, aiming to crack down on the separatists, who want independence or unification with North Ossetia, which is in Russia. Russia responded Friday, sending troops into the Georgian province where it had peacekeepers stationed.
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“I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars,” Lyudmila Ostayeva, a resident of the South Ossetia capital, Tskhinvali, told The Associated Press on Friday.
“It’s impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged,” she said after fleeing to a village near the Russian border, AP reported.