May 29th, 2008 17:18 EST
Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft subject of UN closed-door meeting
The U.N. Security Council is to hold a closed-door meeting on Friday to discuss the shooting down of a Georgian unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.
Russia's representative to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin had requested that an Abkhazian representative attend the meeting, but Georgia's U.N. ambassador, Irakli Alasania told reporters his country rejected that request.
Monday, a U.N. report found that Russia was responsible for shooting down the drone over Abkhazia on April 20. Russia has denied the claim and insists that Abkhaz separatists downed the aircraft.
Georgia has demanded an apology from Russia, and also wants compensation for the drone.
The U.N. report also criticized Georgia for sending drones into the area, saying the move violates a 1994 cease-fire between Georgian forces and Abkhaz separatists.
The cease-fire agreement permitted Russian peacekeepers to enter Abkhazia and another pro-Russian Georgian border region, South Ossetia.
Georgia has vowed to bring both separatist regions back under central government control.
Meanwhile, officials in South Ossetia say nine people were injured in two attacks in the area Thursday. They say six were the victims of a car bomb blast in the region's capital, Tskhinvali. A mortar attack on a vehicle in the region's southern Znauri district injured three others.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.