Pankisi Gorge Bombed

(Tbilisi. November 28. Civil Georgia) – 5 helicopters bombed Pankisi gorge, Georgia on November 27 at 21:30. Helicopters entered Georgian airspace from Russia and bombed unpopulated territories near villages Omalo and Birkiani. There are no casualties.

Georgian Boarder Guard commander Valeri Chkheidze stated that Russian helicopters bombed the gorge. Russian Defense Ministry denies the accusation.

Foreign Ministry of Georgia intends to send a note of protest to the Russian government today concerning the resent bombardment of Pankisi gorge.

This is the first case of bombardment of Georgian territory since late October. Warplanes entered from Russia and bombed Kodori gorge, Abkhazia for several times last month.  

Approximately 6-7 thousand refugees from Chechnya are in Pankisi at the moment. Russian officials state that the Chechen guerrillas are among refugees and accuse Georgian government in harboring Chechen fighters in Pankisi. Georgia denies the accusation.

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