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Georgia says 11 militants, 3 troops killed near Russian border

Georgian servicemen ride along a road at the village of Lapankuri, some 175 km (108 miles) east of Tbilisi August 29, 2012. — Reuters picGeorgian servicemen ride along a road at the village of Lapankuri, some 175 km (108 miles) east of Tbilisi August 29, 2012. — Reuters picTBILISI, Aug 29 — Georgian Interior Ministry forces have killed 11 suspected militants in exchanges of gunfire in which three Georgian troops were also killed near the border with Russia, the Georgian Interior Ministry said today.

Five other Interior Ministry officers have been wounded during an operation against unidentified gunmen who seized several hostages near the border with Russia’s Dagestan region, ministry spokeswoman Salome Makharadze said.

The fighting could increase tension between Russia and pro-Western Georgia, which remain deeply at odds after a five-day war in August 2008 over two Moscow-backed separatist regions. — Reuters

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