India, Russia to hold air exercise

Oct. 14, 2005 at 11:07 AM
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NEW DELHI, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Elite airborne troops from India and Russia will begin Saturday their first joint anti-terrorism exercises.

The exercises are being held against the backdrop of increasing urban terrorism and insurgency.

"The exercise includes storming terrorist hideouts and after parajumping into danger zones in the Thar desert in western Indian state of Rajasthan," said a senior officer of Indian Air Force.

"The troops from both sides will use specialized weapons and communications systems. The exercise will involve crack troops from Russia's 76 Airborne Division, part of Rapid Deployment Force, and the Indian Army's elite 50th Independent Parabrigade," said Brig. Deepak Sinha, commander of Parabrigade.

He said the exercises were being held amid a rise of urban terrorism in both nations.

"The political leadership of the two countries have developed a level of cooperation in countering terrorism and it is natural for out two armies to carry forward this momentum," Sinha said.

The exercise will be held at the Mahajan field near Bikaner in Rajasthan.

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