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Georgians check for mines after Russian pull-out

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Georgians check for mines after Russian pull-out

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Georgian soldiers near the Black Sea Port of Poti have been checking abandoned trenches for mines after the pull-out of Russian forces. Moscow had a deadline of this Monday for the first phase of a troop withdrawal brokered by France.

Georgia has welcomed this latest pull-out, but says it hopes Russia will stick to an October 10 deadline to withdraw completely from Georgian territory outside the breakway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The European Union plans to deploy a 200-strong team of monitors in Georgia over the next few weeks. In Poti, people were out on the streets on Sunday, and attending mass. They told reporters they were happy the Russians have finally left.

The Kremlin has vowed to keep troops in the breakway regions and has formally recognised them as independent nations.