Six Russian soldiers killed in bus crash in Georgian breakaway region

19th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

Six Russian soldiers were killed and 16 others injured when their bus plunged into a ravine in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, Russian news agencies reported Thursday.

The soldiers were being dispatched to take part in military exercises in the Moscow-backed region when the vehicle's brakes failed outside the city of Tskhinvali, the defence ministry told local news agencies.

"As a result of a traffic accident, six officers were killed and 16 suffered injuries," news agencies quoted the ministry as saying.

The defence ministry declined to provide further details when contacted by AFP.

In August 2008, Georgia fought and lost a brief war with Russia over the Kremlin-backed separatist region of South Ossetia.

After the war, Russia recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian region, as independent states and stationed permanent military bases there.

Georgia has decried Russia's "creeping annexation" of its territory, accusing Russian border guards of moving South Ossetia's border markers further into Tbilisi-controlled area.

© 2016 AFP

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