Martial law

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The Independent Online
The Georgian leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, yesterday imposed martial law throughout the separatist Abkhazia region, saying fighting there could lead to the disintegration of the country, AFP reports from Tbilisi.

In a decree, Mr Shevardnadze ordered a 10pm curfew, increased police and army patrols and banned protests on account of the 'threat posed to the territorial integrity of Georgia'. Georgian government troops have been fighting separatist rebels, reportedly backed by Russian units, in Abkhazia since last August.

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