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'Russia withdraws troops from Georgia'

world Updated: Aug 18, 2008 17:25 IST
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Russian forces have begun withdrawing from Georgia, with a first convoy of vehicles moving out of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali, reports said on Monday.

There was no initial official confirmation by the Russian military to the report.

According to the reports, the withdrawal so far involves groups of between five and 10 armoured vehicles. They were seen heading toward the Roki tunnel which connects Russia and Georgia in the Caucasus mountain region.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement Saturday, a day after his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, had signed it in Tbilisi. On Sunday, Medvedev had said the troop withdrawal would begin by noon Monday.

Earlier on Monday, reports from the region said that Russian troops had still been holding positions about 35 km north of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, and near the Georgian cities of Poti and Senaki on the Black Sea coast.