Georgia to Continue Anti-Criminal Operation in Pankisi Gorge

Georgian power structures propose to carry on their operation to eliminate militants from Pankisi.

"Some of the criminal elements still stay in the area, so the anti-criminal operation will go ahead," Georgia's Interior Minister Koba Narchemashvili told a news conference in Tbilisi on Thursday.

He recalled that the Georgian side had set forth its position at a recent meeting of CIS /Commonwealth of Independent States/ interior ministers in Tbilisi.

The minister also said that there are no Al-Qaeda militants in the Pankisi Gorge. Nor are there any terrorists there, so no threat of terrorism stems from the place, the minister said as he commented on remarks by French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on that score.

Telling journalists interim results of a meeting in Paris of G-8 justice and interior ministers, Sarkozy opined that the activity of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation was "badly disorganised by operations carried out in Afghanistan." "Al-Qaeda's operating centres seem to have moved towards Chechnya and Georgia," the minister said.

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