Moscow denies Georgia attack

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Moscow (AFP) - The Russian Defence Ministry denied that Russian forces had shot down a Georgian helicopter in Georgia's separatist western region of Abkhazia, and said Abkhazian forces were to blame.

The Georgian leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, accused 'reactionary forces' in Russia of plotting against Georgia, and said two Russian SU-25 assault planes brought down a Georgian MI-24 helicopter.

The Defence Ministry statement said: 'The ministry has irrefutable proof that the MI-24 helicopter was shot down by Abkhazian forces not far from Gagra and fell into the sea.'