Well, if you listen to Eduard Kokoity, they are.
Interfax quoted South Ossetian president Eduard Kokoity as saying that the attack involving artillery and mortars started around 1900 GMT on Thursday evening and lasted two hours.
Kokoity also told Interfax that Georgian forces shelled several villages in the region. He said that Georgian forces also tried to enter the northern fringes of Tskhinvali, but were stopped by local militia.
“The massive attack on Tskhinvali is a beginning of a well planned aggression by Georgia,” Kokoity said.
I’m taking this with a grain of salt until someone other than Interfax reports it.
This story makes it sound like fire definitely was exchanged, but does not verify Kokoity’s story.