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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

3 Abducted in Georgia

TBILISI, Georgia (Reuters) -- Two Germans and a Dane monitoring the border between Georgia and separatist Abkhazia for the United Nations were kidnapped Thursday in a remote gorge, a senior Georgian official said.

The three were part of a contingent of 100 UN observers monitoring a truce between Georgia and Abkhazia.

"According to our information, two of the kidnapped observers are German and one Danish," Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Kakha Sikharulidze said.

The UN office in Tbilisi identified the Germans as Klaus Ott and Herbert Bauer and the Dane as Henrik Soerensen. Their Georgian interpreter was also abducted. Marian Staszewski, an adviser to the UN mission, said the observers were monitoring the Kodor Gorge with Russian peacekeepers when their car came under fire. "We were told that no one was injured in the shooting," he said. The peacekeepers with them were disarmed and then released.

Arms Cache Found

MOSCOW (AP) -- A large arsenal of explosives has been discovered in a village near Moscow, Interfax reported Thursday.

A cache containing 400 kilograms of explosives, hundreds of cartridges and detonators and an unidentified chemical substance was found Wednesday in a yard in the Moscow region village of Chyornoye, Interfax reported, citing unnamed regional officials.

The discovery resulted from the investigation into an October bomb blast in a Moscow McDonald's restaurant that killed a teenage boy and injured eight other people, the report said.

Ukraine Troops Backed

KIEV (AP) -- Ukraine's parliament voted its approval Thursday of a plan to send a large contingent of troops to join the U.S.-led stabilization force in Iraq.

A total of 273 lawmakers in the 450-seat chamber approved a bill on the deployment, with 103 voting against, according to the parliament's press service.

The Cabinet said earlier this week that it would pay for salaries and insurance for the force of up to 1,800 people, and the United States offered last week to pay all nonsalary costs -- including transport, deployment and maintenance -- for the Ukrainian troops. The total cost is estimated at 69 million hryvna ($13 million).

The troops might start heading for Iraq as early as next week.

Satellite Launched

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia has put a new military satellite into orbit, officials said Thursday.

The satellite was launched aboard a Kosmos-3M rocket that blasted off Wednesday from the northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome, the Space Forces press service said. It reached its designated orbit on schedule, the press service said.

Soldier Gets 20 Years

MOSCOW (AFP) -- A border guard was jailed for 20 years Thursday for killing five soldiers and injuring six others, RIA-Novosti reported.

The soldier, Denis Solovyov, went on the rampage at a garrison near the border between Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Georgia last November.

The trial jury recognized that the defendant had been subjected to ill treatment by two of his comrades.