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    GEORGIA REFUTES REPORTS ON RESUMED PATROLS IN UPPER KODORI GORGE

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    TBILISI, March 4, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's frontier department has refuted reports that Russian peacekeepers resumed patrolling the upper area of the Kodori gorge.

    Russian peacekeepers are continuing to patrol the lower area of the gorge, but do not patrol its upper area, Beso Kvitsiani, in charge of the Kodori gorge section of Georgia's frontier department, told the Novosti-Georgia news agency.

    The patrolling of the gorge's upper area was suspended after UN officials were kidnapped on June 5, 2003, recalled Mr Kvitsiani.

    The Kodori gorge is the only area in the zone of conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia (self-proclaimed republic on Georgian territory), which fell under the central Georgian government's jurisdiction after the 1993 armed conflict in Abkhazia.

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