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  Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Two car bombings in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia on Thursday
Two car bombings in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia on Thursday were planned acts designed to escalate tensions in the area, the headquarters of Russia-led peacekeepers in the conflict zone said on Friday.

South Ossetia, which celebrated its Independence Day on Thursday, blamed Georgia for the explosions in its capital and southern district, which injured nine people, saying Tbilisi was continuing its policy of "state-sponsored terrorism."

"The results of the monitoring operation carried out by military observers from the JCC [post-Soviet Joint Control Commission] and the OSCE identified that both explosions had been planned with the aim of escalating tensions in the conflict zone," the headquarters said giving no further details.

South Ossetia's police earlier claimed they had evidence confirming Georgia's involvement in the bombings. Police said one of the cars, a BMW, was bought by unidentified suspects in Georgia on Wednesday.

The joint peacekeeping contingent in the area comprises troops from Russia, South Ossetia, North Ossetia - a part of Russia - and Georgia. Tbilisi has recently questioned the peacekeeping format, accusing Russia of backing separatism on sovereign Georgian soil.

The bombings occurred against the backdrop of a dispute between Russia and Georgia over the other breakaway region, Abkhazia, where Tbilisi says Russian aircraft shot down a Georgian spy drone on April 20.

Georgia called the downing an act of aggression, the assessment shared by some Western countries. On Wednesday, the Caucasus state asked the UN Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.

Moscow denies involvement in the incident and accused Georgia of violating a ceasefire agreement by sending spy planes into the conflict zone, where it has maintained troops since the bloody conflict in the early 1990s.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia have remained a source of tensions between the former Soviet neighbors. Tensions have also been fueled by plans to join NATO and integrate into other Western structures pursued by Georgia, which is located on strategic routes for Caspian oil and gas.


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