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Curious Gorges

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SHAKH AIVAZOV/AP

Georgian Interior Ministry trooper guards a check-point in the Pankisi Gorge



Even before they arrive, the deployment of Úlite U.S. troops to Georgia is prompting some Chechen fighters to leave the Pankisi Gorge, Georgian officials claimed this week. However, just as swiftly, it has become evident that U.S. involvement has prompted another bout of shadowboxing between Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Chechen rebels. So far, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) remain unable to broker any kind of deal.

Gela Bezhuashvili, Georgia's deputy defense minister, said on 7 March that a "small group" of Chechen fighters had left hideouts in the Pankisi Gorge, Reuters reported. Bezhuashvili said he believed that all but a tiny fraction would follow them. There has been no independent confirmation. the whole story