Georgia offers S Ossetia ceasefire

Georgia's president orders troops not to return fire on separatist forces.

    Saakashvili repeats his offer of full autonomy for South Ossetia [Reuters]

    Jonah Hull, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Moscow, described the offer as an "olive branch".

    "It was turning into a situation where we were waiting and wondering which side would back down first.

    "It seems that Georgia is offering here some sort of an olive branch. It's certainly an admission and a sign of just how serious things have become in South Ossetia," he said.

    "It's also a sign perhaps of how unwilling Georgia is to be drawn into a full-scale conflict, knowing very well that that would jeopordise its cherished chances of joining Nato."

    Fighting between Georgian soldiers and forces from the breakaway region of South Ossetia wounded up to 20 people on Thursday.

    Both sides blame each other for the conflict.

    Casualties

    The de facto government in Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, said that 18 people had been wounded by Georgian fire.

    Marina Salukvadze, a spokeswoman for Temur Yakobashvili, the Georgian re-integration minister, said two Georgian servicemen were also wounded after attacks on Georgian positions by South Ossetian forces.

    Tensions over South Ossetia and another breakaway Georgian region, Abkhazia, have been rising since Russia said it was establishing formal ties with the separatists.

    A Russian envoy has arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital.

    South Ossetia said that six people had died in fighting over the weekend.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Apart from being disastrous for Palestine, normalising relations with Israel could get Saudi Arabia in real trouble.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.