Abkhazia Prime Minister Gennady Gagulia dies in traffic accident
(FILE) Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) invites Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze (L) and the Chief of Abkhazian executive authorities Gennady Gagulia (R) to start their talks in the Russian President's residence Bocharov Ruchei in Sochi, Mar. 7, 2003. EPA-EFE PHOTO ITAR-TASS POOL ITAR-TASS vk-hh
Moscow, Sep 9 (efe-epa).- The Prime Minister of the Republic of Abkhazia, Gennady Gagulia, died Saturday after a traffic accident when returning from Syria, official sources said.
According to a statement issued by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Abkhaz government posted on its website, the accident took place on the Psou-Sukhum highway.
The prime minister's car was returning from Syria with an Abkhaz government delegation when the accident occurred, says the official report from Russian news agency Tass.
Neither the driver of the prime minister's car nor the members of his security team were injured.
"According to the first information, nobody was injured in the accident", apart from the prime minister, who died, the official statement reads.
Gagulia assumed the leadership of the government of Abkhazia last April. Until then he had served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic.
Abkhazia is recognized only by a small number of countries, as most consider it a part of Georgia, though that country has little control over it and regards it as Russian-occupied territory.