YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Georgian authorities dismissed on October 1 reports by the A-Info news agency that some Chechen guerrillas have moved to the Georgian Samtskhe-Javakhk region from Pankisi gorge.
Georgian Prime-News agency reported that Georgian government’s representative in the Samtskhe-Javakhk region–Temur Mosiashvili–dismissed reports that the Chechen militants [recently driven out of Pankisi gorge] intend to cross over to Turkey–via Samtskhe-Javakhk. He said that this was impossible because border guards stationed in the region were functioning well and have not detected any armed group activity.
Mosiashvili added that considering the attitude of the Samtskhe -Javakhk Armenian population towards Turkey–Georgia would never shelter Chechens or help them to cross the border into Turkey. A spokesman of the State Security Ministry of Georgia has also dismissed these reports.
A-Info–however–has reaffirmed its report–based on information from a reliable source: "Mr. Mosiashvili’s commen’s are groundless because–as we reported earlier–there are Chechen guerrillas in the Georgian towns of Bakuriani–Abastuman–Akhaltskha and Vardzia gorge–which means that Chechens have moved to those parts of Samtskhe-Javakhk."
A-Info does not insist that the Chechen militants have already crossed the Georgian-Turkish border; rather–they affirm that Chechen field commander–Gilayev– has arrived in Akhaltska–and has met with local criminals there.