Policeman Killed Near Abkhazia

A Georgian policeman was killed by a group of unidentified gunmen Saturday near the breakaway Abkhazia region, Georgia's Interior Ministry said.

The incident happened as Georgian policemen were clearing mines near the de facto border between Georgia and Abkhazia, the ministry said.

Ruslan Kishmaria, a representative of separatist leader Sergei Bagapsh, said Abkhaz border guards prevented a Georgian sabotage squad from entering Abkhazia on Saturday and that one Georgian was killed and two others wounded in the skirmish.

EU cease-fire monitors said they were shot at Sunday near Abkhazia as they investigated the shooting. They called the incident "unacceptable."

Meanwhile, South Ossetian forces pulled out of Perevi, a Georgian village on the border of South Ossetia, on Saturday after European Union cease-fire monitors expressed concern, a Georgian police official said.

Russian troops pulled back from a buffer zone around South Ossetia in October after fighting off a Georgian attempt to retake the region in August. They kept one checkpoint in Perevi, but Georgia said an allied South Ossetian militia had moved into the settlement a week ago.

(Reuters, AP)