09TBILISI1136, GEORGIA: EXPLOSIONS DAMAGE TWO EUMM VEHICLES;

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1136 2009-06-22 12:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5662
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1136 1731206
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221206Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1780
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4872

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001136 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RU GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: EXPLOSIONS DAMAGE TWO EUMM VEHICLES; 
GEORGIAN AMBULANCE DRIVER KILLED 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) On June 21st at approximately 1105 am, explosions 
damaged an EUMM armored patrol vehicle and accompanying 
private ambulance near Eristskali, located west of the Enguri 
River near the Abkhazian administrative boundary line in 
undisputed Georgian territory.  The Georgian ambulance driver 
died of his injuries in the hospital following the incident, 
and according to press reports, a medic in the ambulance was 
also injured.  EUMM and the Georgian Ministry of the Interior 
(MOIA) are investigating the incident. 
 
2.  (SBU) An EUMM security official in Gori told local 
officials with HALO Trust, a demining organization working in 
the Gori region and Abkhazia, that two explosions occurred on 
June 21.  The first came as an EUMM patrol convoy, consisting 
of an armored EUMM patrol vehicle, a Mediclub ambulance and a 
third vehicle, was approximately 1.5 km from the 
administrative boundary line in between Russian and Georgian 
checkpoints (.5 km from the Georgian checkpoint) returning 
towards undisputed Georgian territory.  The EUMM official 
said that an explosive device detonated between the lead EUMM 
vehicle and the ambulance directly behind it. Personnel in 
the lead patrol vehicle and the ambulance exited the vehicles 
to survey the damage and transfer the personnel in the 
ambulance to the armored vehicle.  About 15 seconds later, 
while the personnel were outside the vehicles and the 
vehicles were stationary, the second explosion occurred. 
Based on this information, HALO Trust sources speculated that 
this was a targeted attack, with the first device likely set 
up as a trip wire and the second device probably timer or 
remote controlled. 
 
3.  (U) In a June 22 statement, the head of the EUMM, 
Hansjorg Haber, expressed his concern that the attack was 
deliberate.  Regarding the attack, he said "this is a 
worrying development and completely unacceptable.  The EUMM 
is an unarmed non executive Mission, mandated to carry out 
patrols to bring about security and stability to the people 
on both sides of the administrative boundary lines." 
 
4.  (C) The timing of this attack, following the Russian veto 
of the UNOMIG mandate and one week before OSCE monitoring 
operations cease, is concerning.  EUMM remains as the last 
international monitoring presence in Abkhazia and South 
Ossetia, and this incident highlights the need for a 
continuing, robust presence to fill the gaps left by OSCE and 
UNOMIG.  The attack suggests that some side(s) may want to 
dissuade the EUMM from continuing its monitoring efforts and 
again provides evidence of the need for cooperation between 
the sides on the Incident Prevention Response Mechanism. 
TEFFT

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