By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — President Mikheil Saakashvili has pledged to stop any attempt to export instability into Georgia from its neighbors.
Reuters news agency quoted Saakashvili as saying in a televised statement on August 29: “Another attempt to export a new wave of tension and instability into Georgia from our northern neighbour will be stopped at the very beginning.”
He also said intelligence data showed that most of the militants who had seized hostages in the Lopota gorge area had been killed.
The Interior Ministry earlier said Georgian forces had killed 11 militants, while three soldiers were killed in an operation to free the hostages near the border with Russia.
The ministry said five soldiers had also been wounded. An unspecified number of hostages have been freed.
Officials said efforts were continuing to win the release of the remaining hostages.
The militants are reported to have entered Georgia from the neighboring restive Russian republic of Daghestan.
The motives of the hostage-takers were not immediately clear.