Body of Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Brought Home

The body of a Georgian peacekeeper, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili, 25, who was killed during the attack on Bagram airfield in Afghanistan, was brought back to Georgia by a special flight of the United States Air Force on Sunday.

A mourning ceremony was held at Tbilisi International Airport, seeing representatives of the government, diplomatic corps and citizens gathered to pay tribute to the Georgian soldier.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said at the ceremony that the loss was a tragedy for all Georgia.

“I would like to offer condolences to the family and the relatives of the deceased and then to the whole country,” the PM stated.

Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, said that Bebiashvili died a hero, defending global security.

“I share the pain of the family and friends of the deceased soldier,” the President stated.

The Minister of Defense of Georgia, Levan Izoria, underlined that Bebiashvili was an exemplary soldier who had “sacrificed himself for his country's interests”. “His name will be immortal,” the minister added.

The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, also attended mourning ceremony.

“I cannot find proper words to express my pain and sympathy for the deceased Georgian soldier. I would like to offer my condolences to the family,” the Ambassador stated.

After the ceremony, the body was transferred to the National Bureau of Expertise from the Airport and taken to Bebiashvili’s village, Martotunbani, in Zestaponi municipality, western Georgia.

Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili had been serving in the Georgian Armed Forces since 2010. Having participated in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan twice, in 2012 and 2014, he was awarded for participation in peacekeeping operations.

Bebiashvili is the 32nd Georgian soldier killed while performing duties in a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

He died on August 3 in an attack during joint motorized patrolling in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Three other military servicemen of the Georgian Armed Forces, participating in the Resolute Support Mission, were also injured in the attack and were taken to Bagram medical hospital.

The Ministry of Defense reports that Corporal Gega Kharshiladze is in a good condition and was discharged from hospital on Saturday, while the health of Captain Mikheil Gvirjishvili and Lieutenant Giga Khakhutashvili, also injured in the attack, is satisfactory.

To honor the memory of Bebiashvili, the Georgian flag was lowered at the Hamid Karzai International Base, Bagram Base, the Resolute Support Mission Command Headquarters in Kabul and the Mazar-i-Sharif Base, Marmal at the joint decision of the Chief of Military Armed Forces of Georgia in Afghanistan and NATO's Afghan Command.

Tea Morrison

07 August 2017 17:28