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Man blows himself up at Abkhazia television centre: media

October 17, 2016

An unidentified man on Monday blew himself up at the state-owned TV centre in Abkhazia, a tiny Russian-backed breakaway region of Georgia, a local official said.

“A man blew himself up on the territory of the TV centre. It was obviously clear that he had a bomb,” Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Abkhaz interior minister Aslan Kobakhiya as saying.

Interfax news wire reported that the blast occurred at the entrance to the TV station’s headquarters in the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi.

It cited the separatist region’s emergency services ministry as saying the “corpse of a bearded man” was found at the scene.

Abkhazia has claimed independence from Georgia since an armed conflict in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia recognised the region as independent from Georgia following a brief conflict in 2008 over another breakaway region of South Ossetia and has thousands of troops stationed there.

Georgia insists that the two regions are under de facto Russian occupation.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.