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Chinese troops in Tajikistan for mountain warfare drill

by Staff Writers
Dushanbe, Sept 14, 2006
Chinese special forces and Tajik troops are preparing for anti-terrorist exercises due to take place next week in the mountains of the ex-Soviet state, the Tajik defence ministry told AFP Thursday.

The joint exercises, the first of their kind, "are planned on September 21-23 in the Tajik training ground Mumirak, 200 kilometres (124 miles) southeast of Dushanbe," the ministry's spokesman said.

"The main theme is holding joint anti-terrorist operations to find and destroy guerrilla groups in mountainous territory."

A total of about 500 soldiers were to take part, including a company of Chinese special forces, the defence ministry said. A company usually consists of at least 100 soldiers.

The Tajik side will supply artillery, air power and paratroopers, the defence ministry said.

Deployment of the forces has already begun, the ministry said.

China has delivered 30 million dollars in aid to Tajikistan since 1993, half of that for the security forces. In May, China's defence ministry announced a two-million dollar aid package for the Tajik military.

Tajikistan, which also lies on Afghanistan's strategic northern border, shares a 519-kilometre frontier with China. The first official crossing point on the rugged border was opened on May 2004.

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Beijing, China (XNA) Sep 15, 2006
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) concluded its first military exercise involving long-range maneuvers on Thursday morning with a "combat" exercise deep in the grasslands of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

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