Georgian president visits security operation area
"We shall not let militants roam our territory, as was the case in the 1990s, nor kidnap our people. People who live beyond the Caucasus ridge are our brothers, and we are glad to welcome them as our guests, but coming here with weapons and seizing our people is unacceptable, and that is the interests of our enemy, Georgia's invader," Saakashvili said at a meeting with villagers.
Georgian television channels broadcast images showing police and army vehicles leaving the Lopota gorge, where militants were blocked, via Lapakuri.
Several injured militants ceased resistance and surrendered weapons, television channel Rustavi-2 said.
Main phase of special operation in Lopota Gorge completed - Georgian Interior Ministry
Several wounded militants are hiding near the Dagestani stretch of the Georgian-Russian border after the main stage of a special operation to neutralize a group of gunmen in the Lopota Gorge was completed, Georgian Deputy Interior Minister Shota Khizanishvili told reporters on Thursday.
The bodies of 11 of the 12 gunmen killed in the operation have been found, he said, adding that several wounded militants were probably hiding in the forest.
The operation is being complicated by thick fog in the gorge.
The militants' bodies will be buried in accordance with their faith, Khizanishvili said.
The gunmen were natives of the Russian North Caucasus, he said.