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Georgian Military Steps Up Recruiting Among Muslim Minority

Georgian Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli in a January visit to the Pankisi Gorge. (photo: MoD Georgia)

Georgia's government is pushing to get more military recruits from the Pankisi Gorge, a region that has recently been known more for sending Islamist militants to fight in Syria.

The Georgian Ministry of Defense announced on Monday that it had signed up 33 youths from Pankisi to join the military after a substantial government outreach effort. That effort included military representatives spending two weeks in the remote region recruiting, and a visit by Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, where she assured residents that they would be able to pray, celebrate religious holidays and eat halal food. "I’m sure that people have much more information about the Georgian Army in Pankisi at this moment and the next call-up will have a better outcome,” Khidasheli said Monday in announcing the recruiting haul.

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Georgian Military Steps Up Recruiting Among Muslim Minority

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