Officials detail terrorist incident in Georgia
Georgian officials say that the heavily armed
terrorists militants who penetrated the border from Russia and took five local residents hostage were Muslim fighters who wore camouflage uniforms. They carried Russian passports and copies of the Koran, according to the officials.
Georgian security forces engaged in a fierce gunfight with a band of about 20
terrorists militants on Wednesday, killing 11 of them. Three Georgian soldiers were also killed.
On Thursday, Georgian officials released a video showing the bodies of several
terrorists militants along with a sizable number of automatic weapons, large amounts of ammunition, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, and other equipment, as well as copies of the Koran.
Georgia's president, Mikheil Saakashvili, said that the
terrorists insurgents seemed intent on testing Georgia's military preparedness and on creating additional tension between Georgia and Russia.
Saakashvili said, "They wanted to check our military capability. I am happy with the result." About efforts to create more hostility between Russia and Georgia, he said that they had "failed in this sense, too."
Saakashvili said that the slain
terrorists fighters were buried according to Muslim tradition and that their relatives would be allowed to visit the graves.
Authorities said the hostages had been freed, and that six more
terrorists militants had escaped and were believed to be hiding in the woods.
Nodar Kharshiladze, a deputy interior minister, said, "The backbone of the group is destroyed."
He said, "According to the testimonies of the freed hostages and the names in the passports, we can say that the militants were representatives of one of the North Caucasian nationalities."
The incident began with the local residents taken hostage but that border guards negotiated to take the place of the civilians, who were then released. The border guards themselves were later exchanged for other officers. Shooting broke out after the
terrorists militants refused to surrender.
Posted by: ryuge