Aug 8, 2008 (Reuters) — Fighting raged in and around the capital of Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region on Friday as Georgian troops, backed by tanks and warplanes, pounded separatist forces in a bid to re-take the territory. Georgia said four Russian jets entered Georgian airspace and dropped bombs on two places just south of the territory, which has been outside central government control since the 1990s.
The crisis, the first to confront Russian President Dmitry Medvedev since he took office in May, has fuelled fears of full-blown war in a region emerging as a key energy transit route and where Russia and the West are vying for influence. Moscow vowed to respond after it said several Russian peacekeepers were killed by Georgian artillery fire. Full Report