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South Ossetian Authorities Release Five Georgians

Five Georgian citizens have reportedly been released by authorities in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Those freed told journalists after their release that they had to pay the equivalent of some $60 as a fine for "illegally crossing the administrative boundary" with South Ossetia.

The release was made on May 10.

Russian troops patrolling the boundary with the breakaway region have arrested 18 Georgians in the villages near the boundary in the last two weeks.

Thirteen Georgian nationals remain in custody.

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.

Georgia considers the two regions as its territories.