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South Ossetia Releases Georgian Captives

Soldier in South Ossetia (file photo) (AFP) 7 December 2005 -- Separatist authorities in South Ossetia have released all their remaining Georgian captives.

The Georgian Interior Ministry says three policemen and a villager who had been held in custody since 6 November were released earlier today in Tskhinvali and handed over to the Russian peacekeepers stationed in the conflict zone.

The four men were part of a group of 20 ethnic Georgians who Tbilisi says were "kidnapped" by the South Ossetian law enforcement agencies.

Tskhinvali has in turn accused Georgian police of abducting four South Ossetian officials in an area controlled by Tbilisi.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on 6 November called upon Georgia and its separatist republic to urgently decrease tensions.

(Civil Georgia/Prime News/Novosti-Gruziya/South Ossetian Press and Information Committee official statement)

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