Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 28

On September 27, Civil Georgia reported that the Georgian Minister of the Interior, Koba Narchemashvili, had announced that the military phase of the Georgian operation in the Pankisi Gorge had ended. Chechen guerillas, he stated, are no longer in the gorge or in surrounding areas. Georgian law enforcement officials were said to be skeptical that they could be blamed “for a guerilla group allegedly crossing not only the state border with Russia, allegedly sealed by Russian border guards, but also two administrative borders inside Russia, including the fortified North Ossetia and Ingushetia.” “Georgia cannot be blamed for a guerilla group operating 100 kilometers inside Russian territory,” the head of the Georgian border guards, Valery Chekhedze, pointed out (, September 27).