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Georgia Seeks To Prevent Citizens From Fighting In Syria

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

Georgia's parliament seeking to prevent citizens from fighting abroad in a moive that reflects councerns about members of the country's Muslim minority joining Islamist militants in Syria.

Irakli Sesiashvili, chairman of the parliamentary defense and security committee, told reporters on December 9 that lawmakers are working on a bill to increase accountability for citizens fighting abroad.

On the same day, the opposition Free Georgia party urged the government to investigate what it said was the "flow of fighters from Georgia to Syria."

Officials in Georgia's Pankisi gorge area, which borders Russia's Chechnya region and is home to Muslims with ethnic ties to Chechens, said a 21-year-old man from the area had been killed in the Syrian city of Kobani last week.

Zelimkhan Chatiashvili was the eighth Georgian citizen reported killed in Syria.

One of the most known Georgian citizens fighting in Syria, Tarkhan Batirashvili, known in the Middle East as Omar al-Shishani, is believed to be a leading commander of forces loyal to Islamic State militants.

With reporting by