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Russia Denies Blowing Up Railway Bridge

  • VOA News

Georgian officials have accused Russia of bombing a key railway bridge hours before Moscow officially signed a cease-fire agreement.

Georgia's foreign ministry says on Saturday Russian forces blew up the bridge in the Kaspi region, west of the capital of Tbilisi.

During a news conference today in Moscow, Russian General Anatoly Nogovitsyn dismissed the allegation as a "completely unverified statement."

Witnesses and officials say Russian troops continue to stand guard today around the key, war-battered city of Gori.

They also say troops with a Russian convoy of 10 armored vehicles that advanced to about 50 kilometers from the capital, had taken up positions near the village of Igoeti.

Meanwhile, witnesses in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali say officials marched dozens of captives through the streets, forcing them to clean up rubble left from the fighting.

Also today, witnesses in the Georgian port city of Poti said Russian forces looted the coast guard base there.

Russia's army tells Russia news agencies it has seized about 100 Georgian armored vehicles, including 65 tanks during operations in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Army officials say most of the vehicles had been made in Ukraine, while others had come from the U.S.

The U.S. military said Friday it will increase the flow of aid to Georgia, where the conflict with Russia has displaced an estimated 118-thousand people.

Four U.S. military aircraft have already delivered about 74 metric tons of supplies to Tbilisi - including more than five tons of medicine.

The United Nations refugee agency also plans to send more than 100 tons of aid this week, enough for more than 50-thousand people. But international aid organizations, including (the International Committee of) the Red Cross, continue to express concern about their aid workers' inability to enter South Ossetia.

Georgian forces say they launched an offensive against separatists in South Ossetia last week after coming under Russian fire. Russia says it acted to protect its citizens in Ossetia.

The breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s, but have failed to gain international recognition.

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