Two OSCE monitors freed from South Ossetian detention

Two OSCE monitors freed from South Ossetian detentionVienna - Two international military observers were released in Georgia on Tuesday after being detained by authorities from the breakaway South Ossetia province, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said.

The OSCE observers were detained south of the internal boundary between Georgia proper and South Ossetia near the village of Nikozi. The Hungarian and Turkish officers were released after two-and-a-half hours.

"I am relieved the two military monitoring officers have been freed but their detention was wholly unacceptable and unnecessarily added to tensions in the region," said Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, whose country currently holds the OSCE chairmanship.

It was the second such incident since February, when South Ossetian militia arrested two OSCE observers for a short period of time.

The Vienna-based OSCE deploys 20 observers in Georgia, whose army fought clashed with South Ossetian and Russian forces last August. (dpa)