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Georgian Elders Call For Help To Prevent Teenagers From Joining IS

Elders in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge have called on the government to help them prevent teenagers from joining the Islamist State (IS) militant group.

The Pankisi Gorge's Council of Elders made the appeal April 6 amid reports that two more teenagers left the region to join the militants in Syria.

Relatives of 16-year-old Muslim Kushtanashvili and 18-year-old Ramzan Bagakashvili say the two, who were last seen in Pankisi on April 2, had sent word they were now in Turkey.

At least seven Georgian citizens from the Pankisi Gorge area have died while fighting for the IS group in Syria.

The Pankisi Gorge borders Russia's Chechnya region and is home to Muslims with ethnic ties to Chechens.

Pankisi Gorge native Tarkhan Batirashvili, known as Umar Al-Shishani, is a top IS commander in Syria.

With reporting by and