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DUSHANBE, March 10. /TASS/. Large-scale Russian-Tajik drills have started in Tajikistan to practice joint measures to repel external terrorist threats, the Tajikistani Defense Ministry told TASS on Thursday.
The drills involve over 50,000 troops and a large number of armored vehicles and aircraft, the ministry said.
The active phase of the joint drills will be held at five practice ranges of the southern Khatlon garrison - the Lyaur, Sumbula, Momirak, Kharbmaidon and Khalkayor training grounds, the ministry added.
Overall, about 50,000 soldiers, officers and reservists of the Tajik armed forces and over 2,000 personnel of the Russian army will be involved in the joint drills.
As spokesman for the Tajikistani Defense Ministry Faridun Makhmadalizoda said, "for the first time in the history of military cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia, the drills involve not only the servicemen of Russia’s 201st military base but also additional manpower and military hardware of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Central Military District, which have already arrived in the area of anti-terror drills."
The drills are being held in accordance with a decree by Tajikistani President Emomali Rakhmon on implementing measures for organizing the country’s territorial defense.
The drills will be supervised by Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo. On Russia’s part, the drills will be reviewed by a group of observers from the Central Military District led by District Deputy Commander Lieutenant-General Khasan Kaloyev.