SUKHUM -- An assassination attempt has been made on the President of Republic of Abkhazia Aleksandr Ankvab. The president was unharmed, however, one bodyguard is dead and two more are seriously injured.
According to an Interfax news agency report, the convoy of the president was blown up by a powerful roadside bomb in the Gadauta region of the republic of Abkhazia, in the North Caucasus. After that, the convoy came under crossfire from a machine gun and a grenade launcher.
The pilot escort car bore the brunt of the assault, which explains the bodyguards being wounded.
Bomb experts are working to verify the capacity of the explosive device.
Ankvab’s convoy was attacked while the president was on the way to his office.
“I was not hurt,” said the president to journalists by phone. He continues working as usual in his office.
Aleksandr Ankvab became the third president of Abkhazia last August, winning the elections with almost 55 per cent of the vote.
Before this morning, there have been several other attempts on Ankvab’s life. Since 2005 his residence and his cars have been hit by RPGs and gunfire five times. He has been wounded on several occasions.
Before becoming president, Aleksandr Ankvab served as prime minister (2005) and vice-president (2009).
Russia recognized the independence from Georgia of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, after the military conflict in the latter country.