Ethnic clashes in Tsalka (Georgia): victims reported

MAR 10, 2006

On March 9, at about 06:00 p.m. local time, in the city of Tsalka (regional center of Kvemo-Kartli Region, Georgia) an armed attack was held against a group of young ethnic Armenians. The attack was committed in the city's center, when the company departed from a restaurant. When they were getting into a car, unidentified people suddenly attacked them, dragged out of the car and started beating them. As witnesses and one of the victims said, there were about 15 attackers, some of them armed with cold steel. As a result of the attack, 23-year-old Gevorg Gevorkyan was injured with a knife and died at the scene. V. Saakyan , 25, was wounded in the leg, K. Baloyan , 25, seven hours later was delivered to hospital in Tbilisi with a severe wound. After the attack the criminals escaped.

The victims say, they do know the reasons of the attack. As they think, a group of Adjarian or Swani settlers attacked them. According to eye-witnesses, some time later, all the entrances to the city of Tsalka from the side of Armenian villages were blocked by units of special forces deployed in the region. Other ways, including the road leading to the capital were open. Conflicts between Armenian and Greek communities and Georgians moved there from Adjaria and Swaneti do periodically occur in Tsalka area, reports Armenia.Ge.