(Tbilisi, May 21, Civil Georgia) – “There are approximately 100 Arabs in Pankisi gorge”, Georgian State Security Minister Valeri Khabrudzania told Ria-Novosti yesterday, May 20.
According to Khaburdzania’s information, majority of these Arabs entered Georgia from Chechnya and part of them came in the name of either humanitarian assistance or religious organizations.
The State Security Minister also stated that there are 600-700 armed people in the high mountains in Pankisi who passed narrow trails in the Caucasian mountains from Chechnya to Georgia.
According to Interfax, Khaburdzania stated Chechen “boeviks” cross the Georgian-Russian border all the time. In the interview given to the agency the spokesman of the Ministry pointed out that the group of Chechens in Pankisi “might have had links with Chechen field commander Hatab”.
“There’s nothing sensational in these statements as many have considered it so. We’ve been saying that there are Chechens and Arabs in Pankisi for a long time”, the Security Ministry’s spokesman told Civil Georgia today.