Georgia: Ban voices alarm at growing violence in South Ossetia

7 August 2008

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed serious concern about the mounting violence in South Ossetia, Georgia, where nearly two dozen people have reportedly been wounded or killed in recent clashes.

“He urges the parties to refrain from any action that could further escalate the situation and threaten the stability of the region,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported earlier this week that almost 1,100 people – including many children – have arrived in North Ossetia-Alania, Russia, by bus from South Ossetia.

The sudden displacement followed clashes over the weekend, including sniper and mortar fire, between Georgian Government and South Ossetian forces.

Some of the arrivals have found shelter in public buildings, such as schools and summer camps, or in private accommodation with friends and relatives, UNHCR said.

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