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Anti-terror special operation in Tbilisi completed; questions remain

It took more than 20 hours to complete a special operation to neutralize a group of terrorists in Tbilisi. They were revealed in Nov 22 in a residential area in the suburbs.

It is an old industrial district where many plants are located. Now, most of them are idle, while people are surviving there as best as they can. Renting an apartment is a common thing there, so it does not provoke questions among neighbors.

The terrorists were in one of such apartments. The special operation failed to be quiet, there was a shooting, explosions were heard. So, it made the law enforcers resort to a large-scale anti-terror operation guided by all necessary rules.

Several hundreds of officers from various security forces participated in the action. They managed to evacuate local residents to avoid casualties. Gas and electricity supply was cut in the district. Several armored vehicles, ambulances and fire trucks were pulled to the area. Almost all leadership was in the operation zone.

By 6 p.m. the operation seemed to be completed, as the special vehicles started leaving the scene. There has been no reliable information provided, no official statements are made.

The Georgian National Security Ministry announced earlier that the terrorists are not Georgian citizens. The flat they were renting belongs to a person from the Pankisi Gorge, where ethnic Chechens called Kists live.

In recent years, the Pankisi Gorge has been a hot area, as during the first and second Chechen wars militants were hiding there. Many of Pankisi Gorge residents were fighting for ISIS.

During the operation, one of the special forces officers was killed, another one wounded.

Georgian TV broadcasted video from the scene, there was a killed man in civilian clothes in the report. Journalists supposed it either was one of the terrorists or hostages.

The National Security Ministry said that one of the supposed terrorists was arrested. According to reporters, several persons were taken from the scene in police cars and they could be the terrorists.

Although the law enforcers left the scene, local residents still cannot get into their homes.

There might be a number of questions to security services. How did the terrorists get into the city? Where did they take so many weapons? Why did the security forces need so much time to seize them. Finally, they will have to answer the questions.

There is one more factor that needs to be noted and that has acquired nature of a common tradition in Georgia. Whatever happens in the country, the media believe it to be bon ton to have a comment from the American ambassador. Acting Ambassador Ian C. Kelly became part of this tradition. He said that civilians’s security was of top priority.

“We are carefully observing the developments and we hope maximum safety measures are taken,” he said adding that the security forces must keep the people informed.

It is quite difficult to object this., but still it resembles too much a kind of instructions. In some specific communities, those speak in such tone who called “mafia enforcers.”

Irakli Chkheidze

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