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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Diplomat Attacked in Tbilisi

TBILISI, Georgia -- A group of masked men pounded a Russian diplomat in Tbilisi on the head with their pistols, causing serious wounds, the Russian Embassy said Tuesday.

The three attackers pounced on Alexander Valyukh, first secretary at the embassy, late Monday night as he was walking down a street in a good neighborhood in Tbilisi, said Alexander Klopyanov, an aide to the Russian ambassador.

Valyukh resisted.

The attackers ran away, apparently frightened that the noise would attract attention.

The diplomat remained in the hospital Tuesday with serious head wounds.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the incident "a criminal provocation" and said in a statement that it was not the first time that Russians had been targeted in Georgia.

Russia has sent a note of protest to the Georgian foreign minister and asked for greater vigilance with regard to the safety of its diplomats in Tbilisi.