Attackers Of Georgiyevskoye, Abkhazia Insist On Connection Between Ruslan Gelayev's Militants And Georgian Leadership

The arrested attackers of the Abkhazian village of Georgiyevskoye insist on a connection between Ruslan Gelayev's militants and Georgian ministers. A footage aired by the ORT TV channel's Vremya news bloc on Saturday evening showed three arrestees from Gelayev's militant unit telling investigators about being moved to Georgiyevskoye from the Pankisi Gorge located by the Chechen section of the Russian-Georgian border. From the gorge, which Chechen migrants and militants use as a refuge, small groups of militants were taken to the village on trucks provided by Georgia's former /and probably current as well/ secret agents. The gang's guide, a Georgian native called Dzhologua, also asserted that Gelayev and his people kept in touch with the Georgian leadership. He claimed having a conversation with State Security Minister Vakhtang Kutateladze and chief of the Georgian Foreign Intelligence Department Avtandil Ioseliani, which he said took place after the transfer of a militant group to Georgia in early August. According to the guide, both officials demanded that the militants be "removed from the region immediately" because their turning up there had had "negative consequences for Georgia." The arrestees said Gelayev's gang is divided into groups, each with its own instructor in cartography and bomb-planting. All instructors were Arabs. One of the arrestees said there were 34 Arabs in the gang. Since staying in the gorge was impossible because of Russian border guards, it was decided to approach the Sochi region via Abkhazia and engineer a terrorist act there. Investigation disclosed that militants were heading for Kabardino-Balkaria to "engage in jihad."

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