Russian troops kill one Georgian, detain another on South Ossetia frontline, Georgian PM says
PHOTO CAPTION: Representational photo — A suspected Russian serviceman is seen in Ukraine, March 2, 2014. (Reuters)
By Felix Light
TBILISI (Reuters) - A Georgian national was killed on Monday by Russian soldiers deployed along the frontline between the Moscow-backed breakaway region of South Ossetia and Georgian government-held territory, Georgia's prime minister said.
In a statement published on his official Facebook page, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said one Georgian citizen had been shot dead and another detained by Russian troops near the village of Kirbali, close to the de facto border.
It is the first fatal incident to occur on the de facto frontier since Russia and Georgia fought a brief war over South Ossetia in 2008. The line of control remains undefined, and arrests of civilians around the border are a regular occurence.
Russian forces have been deployed since 1992 in South Ossetia, a tiny breakaway region that is recognised as part of Georgia by most of the world.
Russia has recognised the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a second breakaway Georgian province, since shortly after the 2008 war.
The two territories broke away in bloody conflicts that spanned the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Moscow's support for the two regions has helped fuel anti-Russia feeling in Georgia.
(Reporting by Felix Light; Editing by Gareth Jones)