After initial denial, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Monday that two of eleven gunmen killed in a clash with the Georgian troops close to the Russian border on August 29 were Georgian citizens.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said on September 3, that it had identified seven men, killed in a special operation in Lopota gorge of which two are Georgian citizens and five others citizens of Russia, natives of Chechnya and Ingushetia.
First reports that several of killed gunmen were Georgian citizens, natives of Pankisi gorge in north eastern Georgia, emerged on September 1.
At the time the Georgian authorities strongly denied it. “The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia officially states that none of the 11 individuals liquidated during the special operation is the citizen of Georgia,” the Interior Ministry said on September 1 in a statement, which is now removed from ministry’s website.
More reports have been coming since then from Pankisi gorge that several of the killed gunmen were natives of this gorge, which is populated by Kists, ethnic Chechens of Georgian citizenship.
The Interior Ministry said on September 3 that two Georgian citizens killed in the clash were: 22-year-old Aslan Margoshvili and 26-year-old Bahaudin Kavtarashvili.
Others identified by the Interior Ministry are Russian citizens: Bahaudin Baghakashvili, who “was born in Grozny on February 10, 1986 and has relatives in Pankisi gorge”; Dukvakha Doshuev; Salam Zaurbekov; Musa Aduev and Jabrail Khashiev – the latter is native of Ingushetia, others were from Chechnya.