Armenian Vacationers Continue Evacuating Georgia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Thousands of Armenian vacationers are continuing to hastily return home from Georgia amid the uncertain security situation in the country, the Foreign Ministry in Yerevan said on Tuesday.

A ministry statement said some 4,500 of them streamed back into Armenia in the past two days, raising to more than 11,000 the number of people evacuated from Georgian Black Sea resorts since the outbreak of the Russian-Georgian war.

There was no word on the number of Armenian citizens remaining in the area bordering Turkey. An estimated 50,000 of them spent their summer holidays there last year.

Armenia has also received scores of foreigners, most of them Western tourists, caught up in the bitter fighting. According to the Foreign Ministry, at least 750 of them crossed the Georgian-Armenian border on Monday and Tuesday alone.

The evacuees also included family members of U.S. diplomats and Peace Corps volunteers in Georgia. Citing the U.S. State Department, the Associated Press reported that more than 170 Americans left Georgia on Sunday and Monday in two convoys. The department has recommended that all U.S. citizens leave Georgia due to continued Russian bombing of civilian and military targets.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, the Armenian embassy in Tbilisi said nearly 3,300 Georgian citizens have found refuge in Armenia’since the start of Russian military operations in their country. Most of them are presumably ethnic Armenia’s.

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