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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tbilisi Court Frees Abkhaz Fighters

TBILISI, Georgia -- A Georgian court has released seven Abkhaz fighters captured more than a month ago in a clash at the border with the breakaway region.

"The Tbilisi City Court released seven Abkhaz militants, having passed five-year suspended sentences on them," Shota Untiashvili, head of the Interior Ministry's analytical department, said Saturday.

The rebels were detained Sept. 20 during a shootout in the disputed Kodor Gorge. Georgian officials say Abkhaz fighters crossed into the Georgian part of the gorge and opened fire on policemen there. They fired back, killing two Abkhaz fighters who later turned out to be Russian citizens.

Abkhaz officials have said Georgian servicemen crossed into the Abkhaz part of the gorge and opened fire.