Chechen And Georgian Militants Try To Capture Georgievskoye Village In Abkhazia

The Russian president's information office confirmed on Thursday a report from Abkhazia, a self-proclaimed republic on Georgian territory, that a group of Chechen and Georgian militants had tried to capture and hold the village of Georgievskoye on the day before. RIA Novosti was told in the office that on Thursday morning the militants left the village in a generally northern direction towards the Russian border. According to General Nikolai Sidorychev, commander of a Russian peacekeeping force in Abkhazia, on the day before a group of militants numbering up to 50 men had descended from the alpine part of the Kodor Gorge and made an attempt on the life of Georgy Ardzimba, Abkhazia's Deputy Defence Minister. In the area of the village a fight began with the militants. The command of Russian peacekeepers does not rule out that the militants may be affiliated to the group of one of Chechen warlords Ruslan Gelayev, who was requested by Georgian authorities on the day before to leave Georgia. General Sidorychev denied some media reports that two posts of Russian peacekeepers had found themselves cut off from the main base as a result of yesterday's engagement. According to the general, "communication with our peacekeepers' posts was never interrupted", it was noted in the presidential information office.

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