Georgian law-enforcement bodies successfully neutralised a terrorist group holed up in an apartment in a Tbilisi suburb on Wednesday (22 November) after an operation lasting for around twelve hours. A statement by the State Security Service of Georgia said that three terrorists were killed and one captured.
One Georgian member of a special service group was killed in the operation. Three other Georgian law enforcement officers were injured.
In its statement the Georgian State Security Service said that the members of the group were not Georgian nationals, and had been under surveillance for several weeks. It said that they had identified them and "waiting for the final confirmation".
Georgian media speculated that the terrorists were Chechen and were part of an ISIS terrorist plan. Information however remains scant.
A number of Georgians of Chechen ethnicity were part of ISIS groups fighting in Syria in recent years. It has always been considered a possible risk that with ISI loosing control of its territory in Syria, they would return to Georgia posing a threat to the country's security. The Georgian government during the day tried to calm people's concerns. Prime Minister Girogi Kvirikashvili said there was no threat to the citizens of Tbilisi
Georgian authorities have thwarted a potential terrorist attack, moving in against the terrorists holed in at an apartment in a Tbilisi suburb. The operation is ongoing. A Georgian police officer who was injured in the head during the course of the operation has died under surgery
Residents in neighbouring apartments on Gabriel Salosi Street have been evacuated.
The story is still unfolding and there will be updates shortly
photo: Residents in an apartment block in a Tbilisi suburb were evacuated as an anti terrorist operation unfolded on Wednesday, 22 November 2017.
Referring to the regional situation, the President of the European Council said "Georgia is situated in a challenging neighbourhood, where it plays a crucial role as facilitator and bridge builder"