U.S. Department of State: Georgia is a transit route for terrorists

Georgia is still used by terrorists as a transit route, the U.S. Department of State says in its annual 2004 report on the threat of terrorism in other countries, issued on Wednesday in Washington.

At the same time the document notes that the practice scaled down following the measures the Georgian government took in the Pankisi Gorge at the end of 2003. The gorge is near the Chechen sector of the Russian-Georgian border.

More intensive counter-terrorist operations at the end of 2004 in Pankisi in the wake of the September 2004 terrorist attack in Beslan further reduced the opportunities for trans-national terrorist groups to use the Pankisi Gorge as a transit zone, the State Department indicates.

The report points out that at the moment Georgia's law enforcement capability is limited, and efforts to reform Georgia's security agencies are held back by the lack of adequate resources, equipment and trained personnel. It is also pointed out that these complications have not yet allowed Georgia to formulate a comprehensive anti-terrorist policy.

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