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South Ossetia first tried to elect a new president in November, when former Education Minister Alla Dzhioyeva appeared to have beaten a rival backed by the Kremlin and the former local president, but the results were disputed and a local court ordered a new vote.

The mountainous province broke away from Georgia in a war in the early 1990s. Spiraling tensions between Georgia and pro-Russian separatists triggered the August 2008 war, in which Russian troops routed the Georgian military in five days of fighting.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Bosnia marks 20 years since war broke out

SARAJEVO — Bosnians walked silently and sobbed on Sarajevo’s main street, leaving flowers and gifts on 11,541 red chairs arranged in seemingly endless rows - the number represents the men, women and children killed in a siege that ended up being the longest of a city in modern history.

Sarajevo marked the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war Friday. Exhibitions, concerts and performances were held, but the impact of the empty chairs reduced many to tears.

Hundreds of the chairs were small, representing the slain children. On some, passers-by left teddy bears, little plastic cars, other toys or candy.

The Serb siege of Sarajevo went on longer than the World War II 900-day siege of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. Its 380,000 people were left without food, electricity, water or heating for 46 months, hiding from the 330 shells a day that smashed into the city.

From wire dispatches and staff reports