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Georgia Arrests 20 Suspected Spies

Georgian police detained 20 people suspected of spying for Russia, Georgian security sources said Friday.

The detainees, all Georgian citizens, are accused of forming a spy network and passing secret information to Russia, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Georgian Interior Ministry declined to confirm or deny the report.

"We refrain from comments right now. An official announcement will be made at a press conference on Nov. 5," Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said.

In March, a Rostov-on-Don military court convicted a Georgian and two former Russian military officers of spying for Georgia.

In January, a former Georgian diplomat who advised the country's mission to NATO was sentenced to 20 years in jail after being convicted of spying for Russia during the 2008 war.

In 2006, Georgia detained four Russian military officers and 12 other people on charges of collecting information on Tbilisi's relations with NATO, as well as on its seaport and railway infrastructure, opposition parties and army.

(Reuters, MT)

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