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Top South Ossetian Official Killed By Bomb

July 9, 2006 -- A top security official in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia has died in a bomb attack.

Officials say the bomb exploded early on July 9 when Oleg Alborov, head of the unrecognized state's security council, opened his garage.

Deputy Prime Minister Boris Chochiev is quoted as blaming the attack on Georgian secret services.

Georgia's Interior Ministry dismissed the allegation.

Russian General Marat Kulakhmetov -- who commands mixed Russian, Georgian, and Ossetian troops protecting the fragile peace in the area -- said the incident was aimed at further destabilizing the conflict zone.

South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in 1992 and fought a short war against Georgian troops.

Tension has risen recently amid a drive by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to restore the central government's control over the region.

(RFE/RL 10.vii.06)

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