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Georgian Journalists Detained Near South Ossetia Freed

Three Georgian journalists have been freed after being detained earlier close to an administrative boundary line of the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The press service for the security service in South Ossetia said on April 16 the three journalists were freed, without paying any fines, as a "gesture of goodwill."

The Tbilisi-based TV3 television channel said its reporter Bela Zakaidze, cameraman Vakhtang Lekiashvili, and a broadcast technician, Mikheil Mikhoev, were detained by Russian forces on the afternoon of April 15.

The TV crew was working on a report about "borderization" issues and attempts by Russian forces to shift boundary lines deeper into Georgian-controlled areas.

South Ossetia's official RES news agency reported that the breakaway region's authorities confirmed the detention of the three journalists "for violating the state border."

Russia maintains troops in South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia.

Moscow recognized the two regions as independent states after a short war with Tbilisi in August 2008.
With reporting by

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