Explosion in breakaway Georgia republic injures dozens

Dozens of people were injured by explosions that ripped through a munitions depot in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia on Wednesday, officials said.

The Russian embassy in Abkhazia said the explosions shook a military arsenal in the village of Primorskoye. About 50 people were injured, 27 of whom were hospitalized. The embassy said in a Facebook statement that 19 Russian tourists were among those needing treatment at a hospital.

Tamaz Tsakhnakia, the top health official in Abkhazia, later updated the number of injured to 60, including 35 Russian tourists, according to the Interfax news agency. Tsakhnakia said that four people were listed in grave condition.

Russian television showed a huge cloud rising above forested mountains in the area of the blasts.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed. Moscow effectively gained complete control over the lush Black Sea province and a second breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia, after a brief war with Georgia in 2008.

Russia has recognized both regions as independent nations, drawing international opprobrium.