Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has opened today’s governmental meeting by speaking about the death of the terrorism suspect Temirlan Machalikashvili, who died early yesterday due to a head injury he received during an anti-terrorist raid on December 26.
Kvirikashvili expressed respect for Georgia’s Kist population, of which Machalikashvili was a member, and offered his condolences to the family of the 19-year-old man living in Georgia’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge.
I offer my respect to our Kisti fellow compatriots who, throughout centuries, have repeatedly exhibited their attitude confirming their loyalty to Georgia and its interests. Their resolve has never been doubted, and I assure you it is impossible to undermine it," Kvirikashvili stated.
The PM stated that terrorism is a global threat and the government of Georgia has done its utmost to avoid the threat.
Our state is doing everything to avert this threat. Of course, when you are tackling this challenge in your own country, especially when it involves your citizens, it is very sensitive and calls for caution.,"Kvirikashvili stated.
The PM said that Georgia’s law enforcers have conducted several counter-terrorism operations in order to avoid terrorism threats.
We lost one special unit serviceman during the raids and four others were injured. These individuals were protecting the security of the homeland at the expense of their lives,” Kvirikashvili said.
I would like to state that, first of all it serves the interests of the authorities that the objective and effective investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office answers every question existing in our society as quickly as possible. This is why at this point, given the circumstances, making preliminary statements or conclusions damages the State’s interests," the PM said.
The PM declared that it was "very regrettable” that wounded Temirlan Machalikashvili could not be saved.
The state and doctors have done their utmost to save him. No matter how the investigation will conclude, I offer my condolences to the family,” Kvirikashvili said.
The PM stated that the government of Georgia was responsible for the safety of its citizens and the law enforcers spared no efforts to ensure the safety.
Chronology of events
- A large-scale counter-terrorism operation took place in the outskirts of Tbilisi on November 21-22, which saw three suspects killed, Islamic State terrorist Ahmed Chatayev among them, one suspect detained, one special unit serviceman killed and four others wounded.
- On December 26 the Security Service conducted a raid in Pankisi, when four people were detained and Machalikashvili wounded. The State Security says the five supported the Chatayev’s group to come to Georgia from Turkey, find shelter and weapons.
- The Security Service detained one more man in Akhmeta region two days ago, a Georgian citizen Zurab Idoidze, and reported the man acted with the five to support Chatayev to arrive to Georgia and arrange terrorist attacks.
- The Security Service says Chatayev’s group planned terrorist attacks on diplomats in Georgia and Turkey.
- An investigation is being carried out for financing, providing other material support and resources to terrorist activities which caused grave results. If confirmed the detainees will face 17 to 20 years or life imprisonment.