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    GEORGIA: RAILWAY BLAST DETAINEE INNOCENT, INSISTS SOUTH OSSETIA

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    MOSCOW, March 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- A South Osset detained in Georgia on railway blast suspicion is innocent, say authorities of South Ossetia, self-proclaimed republic in Georgia.

    With this detention, Georgian rulers seek to create an impression of South Ossetia coordinating subversive action with Adzharia, another recalcitrant autonomy in Georgia, and cook up tensions round South Ossetia, Konstantin Kochiev, republican presidential adviser, pointed out to RIA Novosti.

    His conclusions stem from official statements coming from Tbilisi, he added.

    Marek Dudayev, the suspect, certainly is not leading a terror gang and was not involved in the blast. Recently released from prison in South Ossetia, he has no connection with its law enforcement agencies, whatever might be alleged, said our interviewee.

    Officers of Georgia's State Security Ministry detained Marek Dudayev today on assumed Georgian railway blast involvement, which has not been proved for now, Gigi Ugulava, Georgia's Deputy State Security Minister, announced to a news conference in Tbilisi.

    Dudayev commands one of the many saboteur gangs subordinate to the separatist South Osset top. The gang is acting in team with other separatist forces active in Georgia, and the railway outrage was certainly linked to critical developments of the past few days in Adzharia, says Georgy Baramidze, Georgia's Interior Minister.

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