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Georgia Reinforces Troops On South Ossetia Border

31 May 2004 -- Georgia today sent forces to reinforce checkpoints on the border with the breakaway Republic of South Ossetia.

Georgian authorities say the move is aimed at strengthening its campaign to combat smuggling in the region, which is a well-known smuggling corridor.

Officials in the Georgian capital said the reinforcement came after South Ossetian officials and Russian peacekeepers in the region objected to Tbilisi's antismuggling operations in the area.

Georgian Interior Minister Georgi Baramidze earlier said that Russian peacekeepers had threatened to shut down the checkpoints, which were established to net stolen cars.