Human Rights Watch said in a report that it has collected evidence of Russian warplanes using cluster bomb against civilian areas in Georgia. The international rights group urged Russia to stop using the weapons, which more than 100 nations have agreed to outlaw.
We have no idea what they’re doing there, why the movement, where they’re going,” Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said in a telephone briefing. “One explanation could be they are trying to rattle the civilian population.”
The U.S. said a move toward Kutaisi would be a matter of great concern, but two defense officials told The Associated Press the Pentagon did not detect any major movement by Russia troops or tanks. There was no immediate response from Russia.
“I think the world should think very carefully about what is going on here,” Saakashvili said. “We need to stop everything that can be stopped now.”
The group said Russian military aircraft killed at least 11 civilians and injured dozens in the town of Gori and the village of Ruisi. Russia’s Defense Ministry denied the claim, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported, citing an unnamed official who complained that the organization gathered the information from biased witnesses.
Georgian officials accused Russia of sending a column of tanks and other armored vehicles toward Kutaisi, the second-largest city in Georgia, then said the convey stopped about 35 miles out.
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