Peter Walker
The Guardian
August 9, 2008

  Russia Today: Russian troops have entered Tskhinvali in a bid to stop further violence in the capital of Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia. Georgian forces are continuing efforts to take control of the city. South Ossetia claims more than 1,400 people have been killed in fighting. Refugees are flooding into southern Russia as thousands flee the conflict zone.

Georgia today declared itself at war as Russian planes bombed a Georgian city in an escalation of the conflict over South Ossetia. Moscow claims the fighting has killed more than 2,000 people.

As world leaders including George Bush and Pope Benedict XVI called for calm, the neighbouring countries edged closer to a full-scale conflict over their conflicting claims and allegiances to the territory.

Officials in another breakaway province, Abkhazia, said separatist forces had launched air and artillery strikes to drive Georgian troops out of the small part of the territory they still control. Georgia accused Russia of backing the Abkhazians.

The Kremlin said its forces were in control of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, but Georgian officials denied this. The city is reportedly heavily damaged from Georgian bombardment and heavy fighting.

Russian planes today bombed the Georgian city of Gori, near the South Ossetian border, leaving apartment buildings ruined and ablaze. Witnesses reported scores of dead, including children and old people.

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