Daesh militants being trained in Georgia, Russian FM says
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Daesh militants are being trained in the Pankisi Valley Gorge in Georgia and attempting to set up cells in Central Asian countries. (File Photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow has information that Daesh militants are being trained in a valley region in Georgia near the Russian border.
Speaking at an annual press conference in the Russian capital Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov said that the Daesh militant group is attempting to create cells in certain Central Asian countries as well as in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge.
The top Russian diplomat added that some detained militants have confessed to receiving training in the troubled region and having links with the militant group.
Parts of Georgia's porous border with Russia lie in remote areas of the Caucasus mountains and there have been reports in the past about militants from Chechnya and other Russia's turbulent North Caucasus being trained there.
Moscow in the past has said that Georgia's Pankisi Gorge on the border with Chechnya serves as a hideout for militants. Georgia, which has a turbulent relationship with Russia, has denied the allegations.
Russia has been fighting militants since the mid-1990s in its North Caucasus region, where the republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia have been the scene of sporadic attacks and militant clashes.
Authorities in Russia say hundreds of Chechens have left for Syria to join Daesh since March 2011.
The Russian official also voiced concern about the threat the foreign terrorists in the Middle Eastern states pose to their home country upon possible their return.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.