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Georgia Increases Maximum Strength Of Armed Forces

Over 20,000 people currently serve in the Georgian Army (CTK) 5 January 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today signed into law a bill raising the maximum strength of the national armed forces to 32,000, up from a current 29,000.

The bill, which was approved by lawmakers two months ago, says the number of army troops and border guards should not exceed 26,000 and 6,000, respectively.

Under the previous law, the maximum number of army personnel was set at 23,000.

Nika Rurua, who is the deputy chair of the Georgian parliament's security and defense committee, said today that he expected the actual number of military personnel to be well below the newly set maximum authorized levels.

Media reports say some 21,500 men and women are currently serving in the Georgian Army.

(Local agencies)