Syria's opposition resumed talks on Saturday aimed at closing their fractious ranks, crucial to launching an international peace conference, and government forces pressed an onslaught on a rebel-held town to try to gain the upper hand in civil war. Full Article
Tbilisi civilian airport hit in Russian air strike
TBILISI (Reuters) - A bomb dropped by a Russian plane exploded near Tbilisi's main civilian airport on Sunday before the scheduled arrival of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to mediate an end to Georgia's conflict with Russia.
A Reuters cameraman saw smoke rising from near the runway at Tbilisi international airport. An Interior Ministry spokesman said the air strike appeared to have been aimed at the nearby military airport and an aviation construction plant.
"It turns out they hit both military and civilian airports," ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili told Reuters.
Kouchner was due to arrive later to meet Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. He is expected to fly to Moscow on Monday.
The air strike occurred hours after Georgia said it had pulled out of Tskhinvali, capital of breakaway South Ossetia, where Georgian and Russian forces have been engaged in heavy fighting for three days.
Russian planes have carried out raids against mainly military targets in Georgia this week. The military airport was also struck early on Sunday.
In northern Georgia, a Reuters Television crew reported hearing 15 loud explosions near Tskhinvali. Georgia said earlier it had ceased all military activity.
Georgian officials have given conflicting information on whether Georgia has withdrawn its forces from South Ossetia completely or pulled them back to their previous positions in Georgian-populated villages south and west of Tskhinvali.
Georgia submitted a note to the Russian ambassador on Sunday saying it had ceased fire in South Ossetia and called for talks about a full ceasefire agreement and an end to hostilities.
The note said all Georgian troops had been withdrawn from the conflict zone.
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