The prime minister of Sokhumi regime was killed in a car accident on the road connecting the capital of breakaway Abkhazia with Russia’s Sochi on Saturday, when he was returning from his trip to Syria.
Gennadi Gagulia, 71, died when a car crashed head-on into a cortege of Abkhazia’s delegation en route to Sokhumi, Russian state news agency TASS reports.
The accident occurred in Abkhazia’s Gudauta district at 11 pm on Saturday. Neither Gagualia’s personal detail nor his driver were seriously injured.
The car which crashed into Gagulia’s vehicle was driven by ‘a young resident of Abkhazia’. No reports of his fate have been released so far.
Abkhazia’s de facto president Raul Khajimba excludes a notion of assassination.
“The Abkhazian delegation was returning after a state visit to Syria… I myself was in the convoy and witnessed an accident. This is an accident, not a terrorist attack,” Raul Khajimba was quoted by Russia’s Interfax as saying.
The delegation of the breakaway Abkhazia held a state visit to Damascus where it met President Bashar Assad and other leaders of Syria. In May, Syria recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.