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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 17:36 UK

Georgia accused of drone flights

By Tom Esslemont
BBC News, Tbilisi

Abkhazia coast
Abkhazia says drones flew in from the Georgian coast

Georgia has been accused of flying spy planes over its breakaway region of Abkhazia for the first time since the war there last August.

The Abkhaz authorities say two drones entered their air space on Wednesday.

The Georgian government denied the claims and said the planes must have been Russian.

Overflights and the shooting down of drones played a significant role in raising tensions before war broke out in Georgia last year.

With the anniversary of the war only weeks away, Abkhazia says the spy plane flights are a sign that Georgia is preparing for another conflict.

But Georgia says the Abkhaz authorities must have confused the drones with Russian aircraft, and denies it is preparing to fight another war.

Abkhazia has declared independence, with Russian backing, but Georgia insists it remains part of its territory.



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