Georgia calls for ceasefire in South Ossetia

August 9th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 9 (Xinhua) Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili called for a ceasefire in the breakaway province of South Ossetia, reports reaching here from Tbilisi said Saturday. Georgia launched a large-scale offensive to seize control over the province early Friday using tanks, combat aircraft, heavy artillery and infantry.

Local authorities say numerous civilians were killed, and the Russian Defence Ministry says at least 15 Russian peacekeepers lost their lives in the onslaught.

Russia moved its army in the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali and took control of it while bombing Georgian targets, saying the object of its military operation was to force Tbilisi into a ceasefire.

At least 1,600 civilians were reported to be killed in the Georgian offensive in and around Tskhinvali.

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