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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Peacekeepers Accused

TBILISI, Georgia -- The Georgian government Tuesday accused Russian peacekeepers of triggering a gunbattle in the breakaway province of Abkhazia that led to the death of a Georgian soldier.

The shooting took place late Monday, when Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia shelled a Georgian military outpost without provocation, the Georgian side said.

The Abkhaz separatists used the shelling as a cover to bypass the Georgian soldiers and attack them from the rear, the Georgians said.

A 19-year-old Georgian soldier was badly wounded and died in a hospital early Tuesday, the Georgian Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The spokesman for the Russian peacekeepers, Colonel Valery Pokushayev, rejected the Georgian version of events, saying the "peacekeepers only open fire when they come under shelling."