Russian Troops Seize Military Base In Georgia

** RETRANSMISSION FOR ALTERNATE CROP ** Bodyguards escort Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, third from left, wearing a protective vest, to shelter under the threat of Russian air attack in Gori, Georgia, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008. (AP Photo /Sergei Grits)
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Tbilisi, Georgia (AP) Georgia's defense ministry says Russian armored vehicles seized a military base in western Georgia near a second breakaway province.

The ministry's spokeswoman says Russian armored vehicles rolled into a Georgia military base in the town of Senaki, about 20 miles inland from the black sea port of poti.

The statement appears to indicate that Russian troops have invaded into Georgia proper from the separatist province of Abkhazia while most of the Georgian military forces are locked up in fighting around another breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The statement comes as Georgia's president signs a cease-fire pledge. Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili says Russian warplanes have been bombing roads and bridges and destroyed radar systems earlier today. He said one bombing raid hit near the capital city's airport just a half-hour before international envoys arrived.

There have been international calls urging Russia to honor Georgian appeals for a truce. Russia says it must first be assured of Georgia's retreat from the breakaway province of South Ossetia. American officials are accusing Russia of using the fighting as a way to overthrow the Georgian government.



 
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