1 Dec 2017 - 14:29
Georgia’s State Security Service (SSS) has confirmed that one of the three killed suspects in the Tbilisi counter-terrorist operation on November 22 is an Islamic State-linked, Russia citizen of Chechen origin, Ahmed Chataev.
The head of the SSS press office Nino Giorgobiani stated in a special briefing several minutes ago that two suspects were killed by Georgian law enforcers, while "Chataev exploded himself.”
Chataev,37, was named as a mastermind of the deadly terrorist attack on the Ataturk Airport in Turkey in 2016, claiming 48 lives and injuring more than 230.
Giorgobiani said the Georgian security staff had been negotiating with the suspects to make them surrender several hours before the launch of the attack.
"Together with the negotiations, law enforcers evacuated people as the suspects were sheltered in one of the flats of a residential building,” Giorgobiani said.
She stated the measures were made for avoiding victims.
Giorgobiani stated that the two killed suspects had no ID documents, and Georgia with the help of the US was trying to specify who they are.
SSS denied media speculations that two other suspects managed to flee from the scene.
The Security Service reiterated that one Georgian special unit servicemen Ivane Goloshvili was killed by the suspects and four other law enforcers were wounded.
Earlier today Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia said that based on the preliminary information, the suspects had used an illegal route to enter the country.