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Georgia Accuses Russia of Second Incursion

22 August 2007

Georgia has accused Russia of violating its airspace for the second time this month.

The Georgian foreign ministry said Wednesday that the country's air defense system had tracked an incursion of a Russian aircraft on Tuesday near the pro-Russian breakaway Abkhazia region.

A Russian air force spokesman denied the allegation.

Georgia accused Russia of violating its air space on August 6 and dropping a missile near Georgia's other breakaway region, South Ossetia.

On Tuesday, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin accused Georgia of planting evidence of a Russian attack in an act of "provocation."

Deputy Foreign Minister Merab Antadze accused Russia of resorting to brazen, Soviet-style methods.

A special envoy of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Miomir Zuzul, was to hear the Russian side Wednesday in Moscow. The envoy, a former Croatian foreign minister, spent two days in Georgia and heard reports from the country's top political and military leaders on the August 6 incident. He also visited the village of Tsitelubani near South Ossetia where the missile was found.

The missile failed to explode and no one was hurt.

International investigators who examined the evidence in Georgia confirmed that the aircraft had entered the country's airspace from Russia. Russia denies that its military aircraft played a role in the incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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