Authorities in breakaway South Ossetia say they have detained four Georgian teenagers accused of illegally crossing the boundary into the separatist republic.

The breakaway region's information ministry said Monday the boys, aged 14 to 17, were arrested near Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's capital. It said they were carrying hand grenades and other explosives when detained on Monday.

The ministry said the teenagers deny any wrongdoing.

Photographs on the ministry's Web site showed the four in T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts.

The European Union's Monitoring Mission in Georgia said it had been in contact with all parties and expressed profound concern over the teenagers' fate.