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Russian-Indian joint drills enter active anti-terrorism stage

RIA Novosti

15:39 17/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian troops started on Sunday an active phase of anti-terrorist drills on Indian territory as part of joint Russian-Indian exercises, the Russian Defense ministry said.

"As part of the exercises, international Russian-Indian units have been set up, which are currently practicing operational coordination, working on practical training missions in mountains, arranging interaction between units," the ministry said.

"In particular, mixed companies have started patrols in the areas of the presumed terrorists' location. Mobile checkpoints have been set up on mountainous paths and roads to exclude the penetration of terrorists into populated areas and important state facilities," the ministry said.

The INDRA-2010 exercises were launched on October 16 at Chaubattia, in Uttarakhand, a mountainous area near the country's border with China and Nepal.

Russia sent more than 200 troops from its 34th mountain brigade, based in the North Caucasus, to join the Indian troops in the INDRA 2010 drills.

Russian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft delivered the Russian troops in the north-east of India on Thursday.

The Russian troops are equipped with lightweight Permyachka Infantry Suits, which protect at least 80 percent of the body surface from small-caliber bullets and low-speed shrapnel.

The drills will last through October 24.

The Indian and Russian military have conducted joint INDRA exercises since 2003, including biannual peacekeeping drills.

India's military cooperation with Russia goes back nearly half a century, and the Asian country accounts for about 40% of Russian arms exports.

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