More and More Armed Volunteers Gather in Pankisi Valley

Situation keeps worsening in the valley. As the press center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs says, the number of armed Georgians in Laliskuri village is increasing. Volunteers gather come from whole Kakheti (Eastern Georgia). The demand release of Mamuka Arabuli – employee of the State Guard Service, who has been kidnapped on July 12th. Volunteers are sure that Arabuli has been kidnapped by Kists (ethnic Chechens historically residing in Georgia).

As a return action on Arabuli’s kidnapping, Laliskuri (Pankisi valley) villagers have taken 8 kist men in hostage. At present time armed villagers are having negotiations (without participation from the law enforcers) with Kists and Chechen to exchange Arabuli and 8 hostages. However, kist elders say, pledge that Arabuli is not in Pankisi valley.