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MIA: Presidential Escort Helicopter Targeted
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Sep.'06 / 23:17

The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) said on September 3 that the Georgian Presidentís escort helicopter was unsuccessfully shot at while over flying the South Ossetian conflict zone on August 28.

The helicopter was accompanying another helicopter with President Saakashvili and a group of visiting U.S. Senators on board, who were en route to the Svaneti region, according to the Ministry.

ďA Strela-2 anti-aircraft missile was fired at the helicopter over the village of Avnevi [breakaway South Ossetia]. The shell exploded a close distance from the helicopter,Ē the MIA said, adding that the exploded shell was found and handed over to the U.S. side for further investigation.

This statement of the Interior Ministry came shortly after Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili said on September 3 that his helicopter came under South Ossetian militiasí fire, which resulted in an emergency landing. No one was injured.

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