GeriGündem Russia says found 133 dead Ossetian civilians
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Russia says found 133 dead Ossetian civilians

Russian officials said on Wednesday they had found the bodies of more than 130 civilians killed in the conflict in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetian, but mass burial sites had yet to be examined.

The figure was well below the 2,000 toll asserted early in the conflict by Russia to justify its overwhelming military intervention and accusations of genocide by Georgian forces.

"We have found 133 victims, but there are mass burial places, which we cannot open," Boris Salmaksov, deputy head of the Russian Prosecutor Generals' investigative committee, told a news conference.

Col.-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of Russia's General Staff, told a separate news conference that 64 Russian soldiers and officers died during the conflict with 323 wounded. Salmaksov said 51 Georgian soldiers were killed.

In Tbilisi, Georgian officials said 215 people had been killed and more than 1,400 others wounded in Georgian areas outside of South Ossetia. The figures were not broken down into civilian and military casualties.

Russia has not formally revised its overall death toll since the start of the conflict on Aug. 7/8, when Tbilisi sent troops to regain control of the pro-Moscow rebel region.

Moscow retaliated by crushing Georgian forces and sending troops deep into other parts of Georgian territory, angering the West, which said Russia's reaction was disproportionate.

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