Georgia troops claw back land

Forces loyal to the Georgian leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, clawed back some territory lost to rebel Abkhazian troops at the weekend, Reuter reports from Tbilisi.

The Interior Ministry said government forces had retaken the town of Khoni, within 17 miles of the main railway linking Tbilisi with the coast. But Abkhazian officials said their forces had seized tanks, heavy artillery systems and other weapons and equipment from departing Georgian troops.

Abkhazia's self-styled defence minister, Sultan Sosnaliyev, was quoted as saying the Georgian army could no longer count on sending large numbers of troops to the area as it did in August 1992. 'The territory of the sovereign republic of Abkhazia is well protected,' he said.