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TBILISI, June 9 (Itar-Tass) - Bodies of Georgia’s seven peacekeepers, who were killed by terrorists in Afghanistan on June 6, were delivered to Tbilisi on Sunday by the US Air Forces’ plane.
Georgia’s Defence Minister Irakly Alasaniya returned home by the same plane. Due to the murder of the military, he had stopped his visit to Brussels and left for Afghanistan to study the situation in Helmand province, where Georgian peacekeepers were located.
At Tbilisi’s airport, the plane was met by the country’s President Michael Saakashvili, the parliament’s speaker David Usupashvili, government members, top officials of the defence ministry and of the Armed Forces’ United Headquarters, as well as the US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland.
“The death of the peacekeepers is a great loss for Georgia, and their names will remain forever in memories of the nation,” Usupashvili said.
“Georgia will continue its input in fighting international terrorism, in establishment of international stability and peace,” Georgia’s Minister on integration in European and Euro-Atlantic structures Alexi Petriashvili said.
Georgia has been participating in the missions in Afghanistan since November of 2009. Initially, there were 175 peacekeepers, and since 2010 - 925, from autumn of 2012 - 1,500. Over the three and a half years in Afghanistan, 29 Georgian military were killed there, and over 110 were injured /including the loss of June 6/.