Georgia will cease attacks on the breakaway region of South Ossetia for three hours on Friday to allow civilians to leave, the mayor of Tbilisi said in televised comments.

Georgia said it was opening a corridor on Friday to allow women and children to evacuate the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, which was under siege by Georgian forces, according to Reuters.

Georgia is "preparing to open a corridor for woman, children and all peaceful citizens who want to leave Tskhinvali," Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava was quoted as saying by Georgian television.

Fighting raged in and around the South Ossetian capital as Georgian troops, backed by tanks and warplanes, pounded separatist forces in a bid to re-take the territory.