TBILISI, DFWatch – Wednesday morning the de facto president of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia was attacked while in his car on his way to work in Sukhumi.
Alexander Ankvab himself was not hurt, Abkhazian and Russian media report, but one of his bodyguards died, and two others were injured.
The attack happened at 08:25 Moscow time near the town of Gudauta, and started with several bombs exploding as the president’s motorcade passed by. Then the attackers opened up fire with automatic weapons.
Two guards were taken to hospital in serious condition.
The explosion did not damage the car of the president. However, the convoy stopped for a moment and then came under directed fire from a nearby hill. The attackers fired rocket-propelled grenade and heavy machine guns, lifenews.ru reports.
Ankvab had met the British ambassador to Georgia, Judith Gough, two days before the attack. Ambassador Gough, who is back in Tbilisi according to the embassy, told Abkhazian media that the purpose of the trip was to discuss implementing projects in education, culture and English language teaching.
One of Ankvab’s ministers said they also discussed aspects of the cooperation between Sukhumi and the European Union and in particular the issue of Abkhazian passports and the neutral passports proposed by Georgia.
This is the fifth attack against the former prime minister and vice president of the de facto republic, Abkhazian news agencies write. He was elected as president in August 2011 with 54.9% of the votes.