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SEPARATISTS SHOOT COPTER, KILL THREE GEORGIAN CREW

SEPARATISTS SHOOT COPTER, KILL THREE GEORGIAN CREW

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Fighters of the Abkhazian separatist movement in Georgia shot down a Mi-8 helicopter with a surface-to-air missile Saturday, killing its three Georgian crew, according to a statement from the Abkhazian forces.

Georgian troops had launched an attack with warplanes and helicopters near the Abkhazian town of Ochamchira, it said. The Abkhazians charged that the Georgians dropped cluster bombs and held Abkhazian hostages.There was no immediate comment from the Georgian side.

Georgia sent its troops into Abkhazia, along the Black Sea, in mid-August to root out guerrillas backing ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.

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