Georgian officer killed near Russian checkpoint

KARALETI, Georgia (AP) -- Gunfire near a Russian checkpoint outside separatist South Ossetia has taken the life of a Georgian police officer.

While it's not clear who opened fire, the shooting has added to high tensions between the two nations that battled each other in last month's five-day war.

Georgian officials say the police officer was at a checkpoint near the central city of Gori -- about a half mile from the Russian post.

Making matters worse, Georgia's top police official accuses Russian forces of refusing to let his investigators through the checkpoint to examine the possible source of the gunfire.

News media in Georgia have speculated that Russia's South Ossetian allies might have started it.

AP reporters have seen armed South Ossetians looting Georgian homes in the area.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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