Some Russian troops reportedly leaving South Ossetia

Some Russian troops are withdrawing from the separatist-held Georgian region of South Ossetia, the Itar-Tass news agency reported Sunday. The state-controlled news agency quoted an unidentified Russian Defense Ministry official as saying nonessential Russian military units are departing. It was not clear how many troops or vehicles that meant. Irina Gagloyeva, a spokesman for the South Ossetian Defense Ministry, could not confirm reports of the partial withdrawal. But she says South Ossetian police are replacing Russian peacekeepers in the Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali. Hundreds of Russian tanks and thousands of soldiers poured into South Ossetia from Russia last week to repel a Georgian offensive, leading to full-scale combat.