TBILISI, TSKHINVALI AGREE TO JOIN EFFORTS IN SEARCH FOR MISSING SOUTH OSSETIAN RESIDENT KAKHNIASHVILI

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MOSCOW/TBILISI, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - The Georgian and South Ossetian authorities agreed again to join the efforts in the search for resident of the village of Agabeti Georgy Kakhniashvili who has been missing since Wednesday night. Chair of the South Ossetian Information and Press Committee Irina Gagloyeva told RIA Novosti in a telephone interview that the joint group would include representatives from Georgian and South Ossetian interior ministries, observers from the peacekeeping contingent in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, a doctor and relatives of the missing person.

"At 11:30 the search group will follow the route presumably taken by Kakhniashvili," she said. By her data, Georgian residents, who had taken 10 Ossetian hostages the night before, promised to release them.

On Thursday, the Georgian and Ossetian sides reached a preliminary agreement to organize a joint search for the missing person. However, according to the Ossetian side, representatives of the Georgian authorities and population refused to allow representatives of Ossetian law enforcement to attend the site of a possible incident and interfered with any investigation on the part of Ossetian authorities.

Meanwhile, the Georgian population of South Ossetia demanded the immediate release of Mr. Kakhanishvili and even put forward several ultimatums. In particular, they took 10 Ossetian residents hostage on Friday night and threatened to kill them, if Mr. Kakhniashvili, allegedly taken hostage by Ossetian residents, were not released immediately.

According to reports from Shida-Kartli regional police headquarters, two journalists from the Georgian independent TV company Rustavi-2 - cameraman Levan Dgebuadze and reporter Tenghiz Gogotishvili -- were wounded as a result of a grenade explosion in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone. They participated in the search for Kakhniashvili.

Representatives of the mixed peacekeeping contingent in the conflict zone are conducting the search at present.

The explosion of an F-1 grenade, which left the two journalists wounded, occurred near the village of Kekhvi, where the Georgian resident had been allegedly abducted. The so-called "wire booby-trap" had been set up near a pile of wood prepared for transportation.

Journalists received medical assistance at a medical facility in the village of Kekhvi. According to doctors, the wounds are not serious.

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