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BISHKEK, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - International drug trafficking gangs are arming themselves in a bid to force dictatorship on Russian territory, the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service FSKN, Viktor Ivanov, said on Friday as the Grom-2013 (Thunder 2013) anti-narcotics exercise wound up in Kyrgystan.
“We see armed groups growing out of drug cartels situated in Afghanistan’s north,” he said. “These groups have their own warfare units,” he added, noting the Kyrgyzstan event's key importance in tackling the menace. “It was not just a common event but a large-scale exercise required by the drug supply situation in Afghanistan.”
Exercises by drug control agency units from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces (CRDF) of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) assembled to master procedures for operations against illegal armed groups. An air force unit from the Russian air base in Kant, also in Kyrgystan, joined them.
The drills were held in two stages, the first taking place in southern Kyrgyzstan from August 28 to September 6.