Georgia's National Security Minister Valery Khaburdzania states, that villages located in the Pankisi gorge are free from the illegal armed groups.
According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, Khaburdzania made this statement on Wednesday when speaking live on "Rustavi-2" TV-channel /Tbilisi/.
According to him, it was a result of the 6 months "of operative pressure" taken in the Pankisi gorge.
Khaburdzania did not specify where the groups headed from the villages, but promised that "if necessary, an anti-terrorist operation will be launched in the Pankisi gorge provided that the anti-criminal one continues." Georgian Interior Minister Koba Narchemashvili in his turn told the "Rustavi-2" that there had been no criminal assaults on villages located in the area after the beginning of the anti-criminal operation.
"One of the main aims of the anti-criminal operation in the Pankisi gorge was to free all hostages, kept in this region", Narchemashvili said.
According to him, it is necessary to launch a new stage of the anti-criminal operation in the Pankisi gorge, so that "the order could be finally established there". In order to achieve this, the locals would be involved actively in the forthcoming measures, the Minister of the Interior Affairs said.