Abkhaz Claim Downed Spy Plane Identified
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Mar.'08 / 20:01

The Abkhaz authorities have said they recovered the wreckage of a downed unmanned Georgian spy plane from the sea, the Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported.

Examination of the debris, which was shown to local journalists, according to Apsnipress, revealed that it was a medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicle produced by the Israeli company, Elbit Systems, with the serial number 551.

Elbit Systems produces Hermes-type medium size spy planes.

The Georgian Ministry of Defense has denied that one of its reconnaissance planes was shot down. It did, however, confirm having such aircraft, but refused to specify the exact type.

The Abkhaz side said that the alleged Georgian spy plane had been shot down at noon on March 18 over the administrative border between the districts of Gali and Ochamchire, near the village of Primorksoe.

Gari Kupalba, the Abkhaz deputy defense minister, said that the plane had been engaged in reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia since last summer.

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