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Russia, Kyrgyzstan set to conduct antiterrorism exercise

13:38 21/09/2006
BISHKEK, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Kyrgyzstan will hold a joint antiterrorism exercise in the Central Asian republic in early October, the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Kyrgyz police said in August that radical Islamic groups banned in many countries across the globe, including Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation), have stepped up their activities in the country.

Russia and Kyrgyzstan are both members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a post-Soviet security grouping, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional security body in Central Asia that includes China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

The ministry said the exercise will begin October 2 and end October 5 with the firing of live ammunition at the Osh training grounds, in the south of the country.

The main aim of the exercise is to plan and practice the coordination of combat units in a joint antiterrorism operation, and to improve the combat skills of military personnel during operations in mountainous areas, it said.

The defense ministers of the two countries, foreign military attaches and media are scheduled to attend the final phase of the exercise.

Russia maintains the Kant airbase, located about 20 miles west of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. The base was established in October 2003 to enable Russian combat aircraft to provide close air support for the ground units of CSTO member states.

So far, Russia has provided military equipment worth 15 million rubles ($554,006) to the Central Asian nation as part of their military cooperation agreements.

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RIA NovostiRussia, Kyrgyzstan set to conduct antiterrorism exercise

13:38 21/09/2006 Russia and Kyrgyzstan will hold a joint antiterrorism exercise in the Central Asian republic in early October, the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry said Thursday. >>

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