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Russian troops begin dismantling posts in Georgia

By Xinhua,

Moscow : Russian troops started dismantling posts in the buffer zone around South Ossetia and Abkhazia to meet the Friday deadline for withdrawal from Georgia’s territory, Itar-Tass news agency reported Sunday.

“Indeed, we started withdrawing material property and dismantling defence barriers at peacekeeping observer posts, put up on the southern border in the security zone, adjoining South Ossetia,” Igor Konashenkov, the assistant to the commander-in-chief of the land troops, was quoted as saying.

Georgia launched a sudden attack against South Ossetia Aug 8 to reclaim control over the region. Russia sent in troops the next day and defeated the Georgian forces.

The military conflict was halted Aug 12 by a France-brokered ceasefire pact, under which Moscow promised to pull back its troops.

A follow-up agreement set a timetable for the withdrawal of Russian troops as well as the deployment of foreign observer missions. The agreement obliged Russia to pull its troops out of the Georgian territory by Oct 10.

Moscow recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia’s two breakaway regions, as independent states on Aug 26.