Five Georgian hikers and one shepherd have been detained for ‘violating the state border’ with Georgia’s occupied region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), officials from Tskhinvali confirmed today.
The families of the hikers say they lost connection with their relatives on Sunday.
The young hikers from Tbilisi started their journey on Friday to reach Kelis Lake in the pictorial Truso Gorge in northeastern Georgia in Kazbegi Municipality.
The so-called ‘State Security Committee of South Ossetia’ published the statement and confirmed that hikers Beka Magradze, Ketevan Magradze, Mzia Gomuri, Vakhtang Gubeladze, Gia Baghdoshvili had been detained by Ossetian border guards in the Truso Gorge and now they are awaiting court trial.
It is highly probable that they will be released from Tskhinvali after paying a fine.
The parents of the hikers are in Gori now and ask Georgian police and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only international organisation working in the occupied region, for help.
In the statement, Tskhinvali security officials also said that 67-year-old Georgian citizen Giorgi Kharazishvili, a shepherd, had been detained on the same day in the surroundings of his village Balta of the Kareli Municipality near the occupation line.