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Georgian SWAT teams deploy armored infantry vehicles in Tbilisi anti-terror operation

23 November 2017

Earlier authorities had said that an anti-terror operation is underway in the Tbilisi suburbs, and terror suspects have opened gunfire at special forces.

She said surveillance of the suspects had been going on for several weeks and that the state security service was working with worldwide counter-terrorism bodies to identify the group's members and their links to criminal networks.

A spokeswoman told RFE that the militants were "foreign nationals" with suspected links to an unnamed terror organization.

A special operation commenced at approximately 4am this morning, at Monk Gabriel street in the Isani district of Tbilisi, where according to locals, gunshots were heard during the night, Georgian media reports.

But Georgian media reports said the gunmen were suspected of having ties with Islamic State (IS) extremists. One security officer has been killed.

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The area has been evacuated as security forces continue their efforts to detain the suspects.

The Georgian television showed footage of an apartment fire in a building of several floors, dozens of soldiers and an armoured vehicle.

Thick smoke poured from the building for several hours, suggesting that the blast ignited a fire inside.

In addition to the positions held by armored personnel carriers, security forces were blocking all of the exits of the building and other buildings nearby.

Georgian SWAT teams deploy armored infantry vehicles in Tbilisi anti-terror operation