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Georgian deportees return to Tbilisi on October 10 (InterPressNews)
TBILISI, October 17, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A Georgian accused of being an illegal immigrant today died in a Moscow airport while being deported.
Reports suggest that Tengiz Togonidze, 58, was struck down by an asthma attack. Doctors on the scene gave Togonidze first aid but were unable to bring him out of a coma.
Georgians who shared a cell with Togonidze in detention in St. Petersburg said he had asked to be permitted to have fresh air. Togonidze had subsequently been brought from Saint Petersburg to Moscow by bus.
Since the start of a crisis in Russian-Georgian relations sparked by Georgia's arrest of alleged Russian spies last month, Russia has deported a large number of Georgians from the country who it claims are illegal immigrants. The exact number of Georgians deported is not known.