Georgia said on Friday separatist forces in the Russian-backed breakaway region of Abkhazia had expelled dozens of Georgian families overnight but the Abkhaz authorities dismissed the accusation.
Unarmed European Union ceasefire monitors said at least 40 Georgians from the village of Otobaia had camped outside overnight on the de facto Abkhaz border. An Abkhaz official denied the accusation.
"They tell us they have been evicted from their homes," an EU mission spokeswoman said. The villagers said they had been "driven into the woods by Abkhaz militias."
Otobaia lies in Abkhazia's eastern Gali region, home to a large ethnic Georgian community that complains of discrimination.
Tensions over Georgia's breakaway, pro-Russian regions erupted in a five-day war last August in which Russian forces smashed a Georgian assault on another rebel province, South Ossetia.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said around 50 families were forced from Otobaia by Abkhaz forces searching for a resident of the village.
"They went house-to-house and told them to leave and not to come back until they hand him over," Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said.
Russia has recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and has thousands of troops in both regions.
Utiashvili said the man being searched for was in hospital in Georgia after being shot by Abkhaz forces.
Asked about the accusations, the Abkhaz government's Gali representative Ruslan Kishmaria told Reuters: "It's rubbish. Nothing happened there."
The EU monitors are denied access to both rebel regions.
The Georgian interior ministry also accused Russian forces of sending heavy armour to the Gali region.
Russia's Interfax news agency quoted an Abkhaz security official as saying a regular rotation of Russian forces was under way near the boundary line.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2009, 17:40