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Police in Moscow-Backed Abkhazia Launch Manhunt After Border Shooting

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Law enforcement authorities in the breakaway Georgian territory of Abkhazia have launched a search for gunmen behind a deadly shootout on the region’s border with Russia, state media reported late Sunday.

At least one person was killed and three others were wounded in the shooting near the Russian-Abkhaz border on Sunday afternoon, around the same time as separate deadly attacks in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Dagestan. It was not immediately clear whether the incidents were connected.

Authorities in Abkhazia, a popular tourist destination for Russians, said no Russian nationals had been injured in Sunday’s attack and insisted that vacationers in the region were not in any danger.

Law enforcement officials said they had identified the shooters and were stepping up security measures in the region as they continued their search. They did not say how many gunmen were still on the run.

The state-run Interfax news agency, citing Abkhazia’s Interior Ministry, reported earlier that there was just one shooter behind Sunday’s attack.

Local prosecutors launched criminal cases into murder and arms trafficking following the shooting incident. 

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most countries still consider it a part of Georgia, but Russia recognized its independence after winning a short war against Georgia in 2008. 

Russia has troops deployed in Abkhazia and another breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia.

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