Georgia 'pulls out of S Ossetia'
Published: Sunday 10 August 2008 15:51 UTC
Last updated: Sunday 10 August 2008 16:14 UTC
The Georgian government has announced a ceasefire and the withdrawal of its troops from South Ossetia in order to prevent further bloodshed in the breakaway province. Georgia has also offered to hold talks with Russia in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Russia forces have taken control of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali. Russian warships are patrolling along Georgia's Black Sea coast to prevent weapons shipments being delivered and Russian warplanes allegedly bombed a village on Georgian territory.
The violence is threatening to spill over into the rest of the Caucasus, including Abkhazia, Georgia's second breakaway province. The pro-Russian authorities have decreed a 10-day state of war in the capital Sukhumi and four regions bordering on Georgia. The Georgian government claims that Russia has sent thousands of troops to Abkhazia. Russia has denied the accusation.
The UN Security Council has met three times in emergency session so far but has not managed to agree to call for a ceasefire. The EU and US have sent a joint delegation to Georgia as part of mediation efforts. They're expected to arrive later today.