Armed man detained on Georgian-Azerbaijani border

An armed man took a Georgian border guard hostage in an incident on 14 January.

An armed man who took a Georgian border officer hostage has been detained in an incident which occurred on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs stated on 14 January.

The Azerbaijani State Border Service has confirmed the incident at the Davit-Gareji (Keshikchidag) monastery complex, saying the border guards observed less than seven uniformed men approaching towards the Azerbaijani border.

These people were seen arguing among themselves. One of them had grenades and weapons in his hand, according to the State Border Service.

The detainee, who is also reported to be a Georgian citizen, is accused of illegally obtaining and storing firearms.

Threatening the border officers with weapons, the suspect reportedly forced the Georgian border officers to move onto the disputed part of the border. The man opened fire several times during the incident, according to the reports.

“The incident has been completely settled,” the Georgian ministry was quoted as saying by Caucasian Knot.

The David Gareji monastery complex witnessed a similar border incident last July when Georgian activists said Azerbaijani border guards removed Georgian holy icons from the monastery and handed them to the Georgian border officers, in a show-off that purported the territory belongs to Azerbaijan rather than to Georgia. Immediate security measures were taken by both sides to settle the incident.

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