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Georgian Teenagers Detained By South Ossetian Police

TBILISI -- Police in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia have arrested four Georgian teenagers and charged them with illegally crossing the border and possession of arms and explosives, RFE/RL's Georgian and Russian services report.

The four arrested are Georgi Romelashvili, 14; Aleko Sabadze, 16; Viktor Buchukuri, and Levan Khmiadashvili, both 17. They live in the village of Tirdznisi.

South Ossetian authorities say that one of the teenagers had a grenade when he was arrested.

All four were transferred to a detention center in the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.

Georgian Science and Education Minister Nika Gvamaria called on the international community to assist Georgia in getting the youths released.

Relatives of the boys say they could not have been carrying a grenade and that they were abducted from Georgia proper into South Ossetia.

The border between Georgia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia has not been officially marked.

South Ossetia and another breakaway Georgian province, Abkhazia, announced their independence in August 2008 after a five-day war between Georgia and Russia.

Two dozen other citizens from Georgia proper were arrested in recent weeks for illegally crossing the border, but were released earlier this week.