Blast kills businessman in rebel Abkhazia

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A blast in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia targeted a local businessman's car Wednesday, killing him on the spot and injuring his wife, an interior ministry official said.

Arsen Bzhekshiyev,45, was driving his Mercedes car in the eastern part of the region's capital city Sukhumi when the car exploded. His wife, who was in the car with him, was hospitalised.

"The victim was a resident of Sukhumi and Abkhaz citizen," deputy interior minister Ramin Gablaya told AFP, adding that the couple was originally from Russia's North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria.

Bzhekshiyev was a veteran of the Georgia-Abkhaz civil war of the 1990s, in which he lost a leg. It was not immediately clear whether the explosive was attached to the car.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia after the devastating civil war, though its independence claim has only been recognised by Russia and a handful of far-flung states, following Moscow's 2008 war with Georgia.

© 2011 AFP

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