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Georgian soldier missing two weeks found dead in southern Afghanistan

Dec. 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The body of a Georgian soldier serving with coalition forces was found after he went missing two weeks ago in southern Afghanistan, Georgian officials said.

The remains of Sgt. Giorgi Kikadze were found Saturday by Afghan police in an empty compound in Helmand province, Stars and Stripes reported Sunday.

Kikadze, who had been missing since Dec. 18, appeared to have been beaten, stabbed and shot in the head, said the district's police chief.

Troops of the International Security Assistance Force, to which the soldier was assigned, had launched a search and rescue effort for Kikadze after he went missing. A statement from ISAF said Kikadze had been captured and that the circumstances of his death were being investigated, but offered no other details.

A Taliban commander in Helmand said Kikadze had been captured three weeks ago after he was left behind by comrades fleeing a firefight. The commander said the soldier was executed after ISAF refused to negotiate for his release.

Georgia is the largest contributor of troops to ISAF of all non-NATO nations.

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