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Georgian authorities arrest alleged terror suspects tied to gas pipeline plot

August 22, 2016, 15:37 UTC+3

The suspects were caught red-handed

1 pages in this article
© Alexei Paviashvili/TASS, archive

TBILISI, August 22. /TASS/. Five persons have been detained in Georgia on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack on a pipeline that supplies natural gas from Russia to Armenia, the country’s State Security Service said on Monday.

The suspects, all of them Georgian nationals, were apprehended on August 20 for illegally purchasing and storing firearms, ammunition and explosives "with the goal of carrying out a terrorist attack," the security service announced in a statement.

"Those currently in custody were prepared to carry out a bombing near the Saguramo village (some 20 kilometers from Georgia’s capital Tbilisi) at an open section of a pipeline that supplies natural gas from Russia to Armenia," the report said.

The suspects were caught red-handed as they removed weapons and explosives from an arms cache in a forest and placed them in a car. The officers later conducted searches in the suspects’ apartments and found a map detailing the explosion scene.

A spokesman for the security service told reporters in Tbilisi that two more people have been arrested in connection with the terror plot. One of them is a Georgian police officer charged with abuse of power. The other is a Georgian citizen who had not informed police about the planned attack.

The investigators say one of the five suspects had often visited Ukraine, but it is not known yet if this criminal group had been instructed from abroad. Investigators are continuing their probe.

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