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Georgia: UN Observers Kidnapped In Kodori Gorge

Tbilisi, 5 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations today said that three UN observers monitoring the truce between Georgia and the breakaway republic of Abkhazia have been kidnapped with their translator in a mountainous area in the region. The incident happened earlier today in the Kodori Gorge, where separatists have taken UN observers several times in the past but released them all.

UN spokeswoman Sopho Khorguani said one of the kidnapped observers is a German citizen, but could not comment on any other details.

A UN contingent of around 100 observers is monitoring a truce between Georgia and Abkhazia, which declared itself independent in 1993.

The Kodori Gorge is controlled partly by Georgia and partly by Abkhazia.