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Indonesia withdraws British tanks from troubled Aceh

PLA Daily 2004-01-20

JAKARTA, Jan. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The Indonesian Military said Monday it plans to withdraw 28 Britain-made Scorpion tanks from the war-torn Aceh to be replaced with 40 light armored personal carriers.

"The withdrawal has nothing to do with protest from Britain. It is because the battalion in charge with those tanks has completed their term in Aceh," military spokesman Col. Nachrowi told reporters here.

A number of countries, including Britain and the United States, have warned Indonesia against the use of their military equipment in the offensive in Aceh, which is aimed at ending the 26-year-old rebellion in the northern tip of Sumatra island.

Produced by local military industry PINDAD, the 40 armored vehicles are armed with automatic grenade launchers and machine guns and are capable of carrying 14 personnel.

"During the ability test, their performance is not much different from Scorpion," Nachrowi claimed.

He added that in the initial stage, 15 armored vehicles will be delivered to Aceh very soon.

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