At least two people were killed as a result of shelling and shooting in Tskhinvali and some villages in the South Ossetian conflict zone overnight on July 4, the secessionist authorities reported.
The Georgian and South Ossetian sides have accused each other of opening fire first.
The South Ossetian Press and Information Committee reported that by midnight a South Ossetian militiaman had been killed and another injured in an attack on a police post in the village of Ubiat.
The incident, it said, was followed by shelling of the breakaway region’s capital, which resulted in the death of one man. At least seven people were injured, the South Ossetian secessionist authorities said. The shelling involved the use of mortars and grenade launchers, they said.
The Georgian side, meanwhile, claimed it had opened fire in response to the shelling by South Ossetian militiamen of Georgian-controlled villages.
Earlier, there was an intense exchange of gun fire following the death of a South Ossetian police official in a bomb attack early on July 3; this was followed by an attack on a convoy carrying the head of the Tbilisi-backed South Ossetian provisional administration, Dimitri Sanakoev, in which three of Sanakoev's security guards were injured.
The authorities of the breakaway region have announced a military mobilization and have warned that they will deploy military hardware in the conflict zone if there is a repeat attack on their positions. Such a deployment is prohibited, by agreement, within a 15 kilometre radius around Tskhinvali.